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'Excessive' use of face-down restraint in mental health hospitals

The government is considering a ban on the use of face-down restraint in English mental health hospitals.

The move follows figures which show the controversial technique being used hundreds of times a year in some trusts - a level described by a health minister as "shocking" and apparently "excessive".

Research by the mental health charity Mind finds that some mental health trusts no longer use face-down restraint because it is considered too dangerous and traumatic.

But figures obtained under the Freedom of Information Act reveal that two mental health trusts employ the procedure two or three times a day.

The Northumberland, Tyne and Wear trust used face-down restraint 923 times in 2011-12. Southern Health trust, based in Southampton, used it 810 times. Between them, the two institutions account for almost half of all the face-down restraint revealed in the figures.

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Posted by: on June 19th, 2013 @ 12:33 AM

Comments

June 20th, 2013 @ 09:22 AM Reg Storey

I feel that face down restraint does not have a place when supporting people in a community setting. The risks with face down restraints are exaggerated, especially when you look at an individual with poor health, obesity, asthma, heart condition etc. There is a risk of causing injury with any restraint, but once the mechanics of breathing are compromised the risk is highly increased. There is a risk when taking somebody to the floor either prone or supine, as practitioners we need to ensure we keep this risks to a minimum by using approved techniques that are implemented in the best interest of the client and only as the very last resort when all other interventions have failed. If you want to try it put your hands behind your own back, sit up straight and feel for yourself the effect it has on your own breathing! Only a small restriction that you are in control of, but still a noticeable difference. There is a risk of head injury as you take a person to the floor, their head is at risk if it not supported throughout the process, it comes in to contact with the floor as you go down there are serious risks attached.

Getting back to the point of face down restraint, it is uncomfortable and more risky than a face up (supine) restraint. The main point is that we are supporting people who need our help to maintain control, the restraint should not be a punitive action and should not compromise the, comfort, safety and dignity of either our clients or staff teams. Restraint is not something I enjoy doing but is sometimes the only way of keeping all concerned safe from harm. Effective communication, individualised care plans and empathy are the best way to provide services that are challenged in my humble opinion. Reg Storey LD-Community Led Specialist, Routes Healthcare.

 

June 20th, 2013 @ 09:25 AM Reg Storey

I feel that face down restraint does not have a place when supporting people in a community setting. The risks with face down restraints are exaggerated, especially when you look at an individual with poor health, obesity, asthma, heart condition etc. There is a risk of causing injury with any restraint, but once the mechanics of breathing are compromised the risk is highly increased. There is a risk when taking somebody to the floor either prone or supine, as practitioners we need to ensure we keep this risks to a minimum by using approved techniques that are implemented in the best interest of the client and only as the very last resort when all other interventions have failed. If you want to try it put your hands behind your own back, sit up straight and feel for yourself the effect it has on your own breathing! Only a small restriction that you are in control of, but still a noticeable difference. There is a risk of head injury as you take a person to the floor, their head is at risk if it not supported throughout the process, it comes in to contact with the floor as you go down there are serious risks attached.

Getting back to the point of face down restraint, it is uncomfortable and more risky than a face up (supine) restraint. The main point is that we are supporting people who need our help to maintain control, the restraint should not be a punitive action and should not compromise the, comfort, safety and dignity of either our clients or staff teams. Restraint is not something I enjoy doing but is sometimes the only way of keeping all concerned safe from harm. Effective communication, individualised care plans and empathy are the best way to provide services that are challenged in my humble opinion. Reg Storey LD-Community Lead Specialist, Routes Healthcare.

 

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