'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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