Why “restraint reduction” won’t work

positive behaviour support

Physical restraint has rightly been getting a lot of attention in recent years. Since the BBC Panorama programme on Winterbourne View in 2011 there has been an increased attention towards abusive practices. There are risks that physical interventions can be misapplied and used abusively. There are also significant risks of harm to people who experience physical restraint, such as death from positional asphyxiation, physical injuries and trauma.

This has led to a welcomed increased level of recording of physical interventions, which in turn is giving greater insight into how much physical interventions are being used in health and social care. The increased recording may potentially be giving a false impression that the use of restraint is increasing. However, the data continues to highlight this is an important area of health and social care that demands further attention.

Physical interventions and restraint is a highly emotive topic. It is easy to…

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