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Analysis

Guidance moves away from the use of physical restraint

The use of restrictive interventions in mental health nursing is a regrettable part of the job, but when violence and aggression occur, nurses must act.

The use of restrictive interventions in mental health nursing is a regrettable part of the job, but when violence and aggression occur, nurses must act.

However, the focus should be on anticipating and reducing risk to prevent a service user’s agitation or anger spiralling, according to a new guideline from the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE). That way, use of restrictive interventions is less likely.

Figures produced by NICE show that there were 68,683 assaults reported against NHS staff in England between 2013 and 2014; more than two thirds (69%) of which occurred in mental health or learning disability settings.

De-escalation

The guideline, Violence and Aggression: Short-term Management in Mental Health, Health and Community Settings, places greater emphasis on de-escalation and gives a broad description of what de-escalation might look like.

In a bid to avoid or minimise restrictive practices, it sets out

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