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Call for ban on face-down restraint

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A mental health charity is calling for the "face down" restraint technique to be banned from use on patients in mental health hospitals. Paul Farmer, chief executive of Mind, said: "Face down restraint, when a person is pinned face down on the floor, is particularly dangerous, as well as extremely frightening to the person being restrained." Figures show that between 2011 and 2012 it was used 23 times by staff at the Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust. This compares to the English average of 65. There were no instances of "face down" restraint being used by staff at the Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust which runs Arnold Lodge, a medium secure psychiatric hospital near Gypsy Lane. Mr Farmer said the technique "has no place in modern healthcare and its use must be ended. "We know that healthcare staff do a challenging job and sometimes need to make difficult decisions very quickly. "But, physical restraint should only be used as the last resort, when there is no other way of stopping someone from doing themselves or others immediate harm." A spokesman for the Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust, which runs mental health services, said the majority of patients are not violent and physical restraint is seen by the trust as "a final resort." He said: "The causes of violence and aggression within our healthcare settings are often complex and can be attributed to many factors. "However, it is recognised that there may be instances when staff and service users may be faced with potentially violent or aggressive incidents." The spokesman added: "Our staff are trained to de-escalate potentially violent behaviour and physical intervention is only ever a final resort." "Our trust treats around 12,000 people every year with acute mental health problems and although our use of face down restraint is lower than elsewhere in the country, our ambition would be never to use it at all."

Call for ban on face-down restraint


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