Data obtained by Norman Lamb MP and shared with the BBC highlights that the use of physical restraint has increased in many mental health trusts in England.
Responding to these figures, Vicki Nash, Head of Policy and Campaigns of Mind, said:
“Physical restraint can be humiliating, terrifying, dangerous and even life-threatening. Mind has been campaigning for a reduction in how much it is used. Prone restraint, when a person is pinned face-down on the floor, can be particularly dangerous. This doesn’t have to happen. If mental health settings are safe and therapeutic, with enough well-trained staff, we can significantly reduce the need for restraint and other restrictive practices.
“These data shows that in many trusts, the use of restraint has increased, which is worrying but not surprising. When we collected our own data in 2013, we found lots of trusts hadn’t even recorded it properly. It’s essential that trusts record and publish this data, without someone having to obtain it under FoI. It’s really important that we keep up momentum for change and make sure every trust is working towards ending the use of restraint, and especially dangerous deliberate face-down restraint.
“There is currently a Private Members’ Bill going through parliament which, if it becomes law, has the opportunity to increase transparency and accountability around the use of force in mental health settings. We want to see people in crisis treated with care and compassion – this Bill will build on the good guidance already in place and make for safer environments for people experiencing a mental health crisis.”