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More training needed for face-down restraint

More training needed for face-down restraint


Data revealed by a mental health charity shows close to 1,000 injuries and 13 deaths were caused by physical restraint last year alone. 

According to Mind, the government and NHS England should put an end to the ‘live-threatening’ practice in healthcare settings. 

Figures released today reveal that at least 3,439 patients were restrained in a face down position in 2011-12, despite the increased risk of death. 

Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust and Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust carried out half of all face down restraints in that period. 

Yet Hertfordshire Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust and Sheffield Health and Social Care NHS Foundation Trust have already put an end to the practice of pinning a person face-down on the floor. 

Mind chief executive Paul Farmer said some trusts have a “shameful overreliance” on physical restraint, using it “too readily”. 

He added: "Physical restraint can be humiliating, dangerous and even life-threatening and the huge variation in its use indicates that some trusts are using it too quickly.

"Face down restraint… has no place in modern healthcare and its use must be ended. Physical restraint should only be used as the last resort, when there's no other way of stopping someone from doing themselves or others immediate harm.” 

Data secured by the charity using a Freedom of Information request discovered that there were at least 39,883 incidents of physical restraint during over the year, with huge variation between mental health trusts in the use of physical restraints. 

A study conducted by Mind found that some healthcare professionals use restraint in every shift. 

Yet one in ten (9%) said the last time they were involved in physically restraining someone they did not feel they knew what they were doing. 

Dr Peter Carter, Chief Executive & General Secretary of the Royal College of Nursing said: "Health care staff must have evidence-based guidance and training to confidently know when and how to use restraint, and staffing levels should always be sufficient to ensure patients receive the right standards of care."


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