Restraint in mental health services: what the guidance says

Document type
Corporate author(s)
Date of publication
1 December 2015
Mental health services, Health Services, Social Work, Social Care and Social Services
Social welfare
Material type

Download (780KB )

This guide is intended to empower people to challenge how restraint is used in their local mental health services and to hold NHS professionals to account.

Recognising the overuse and abuse of restraint, the Department of Health published guidance for health and social care providers in 2014.

It called upon them to reduce the use of all forms of restraint and restriction, and to eliminate the dangerous practice of face down restraint. It is not known how much this guidance is being acted upon on the ground.

Even the CQC acknowledges, with many trusts failing to submit the necessary data, the extent of the misuse of restraint nationally cannot be reliably assessed. The CQC are now paying closer attention to restraint, and providers’ practice affects their ratings and sometimes leads to enforcement action.

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