Opinion

An end to restraint (and seclusion)?

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I did an interesting interview the other day about the latest guidance on restrictive practices, such as restraint and seclusion.

Department of Health mental health and learning disabilities adviser Ben Thomas and independent consultant nurse Dave Atkinson gave me an hour of their time to tell me what they hope it will achieve.

In short, the guidance is a response to the terrible abuse that occurred at Winterbourne View, the hospital where staff were secretly filmed by Panorama abusing patients who have learning disabilities.

At last there is a bit of good news to come out of that awful situation.

The guidance is all about preventing ‘challenging behaviour’ occurring in the first place. If people’s needs are met, the theory goes, they will not need to act in ways that can be responded to by restrictive interventions.

There will need to be a change in culture in health and social care so that individuals’ needs will be paramount, and if this happens, maybe control and restraint, and the use of seclusion and other restrictive practices, will be consigned to history.

Here’s a short interview with Ben Thomas about the guidance.




About the author

Colin Parish is editor of Learning Disability Practice and Mental Health Practice
Follow Colin on Twitter: @editorLDPandMHP