Learning Disability Today
Supporting professionals working in learning disability and autism services

New network aims to deliver restraint-free services

CPI logoA network that brings together organisations that share a common vision to minimise coercive or restrictive practices and to ensure that the misuse or abuse of restraint will be prevented has been launched.

The Restraint Reduction Network was launched at the Crisis Prevention Institute’s (CPI) ‘Organisational Approaches to Restraint Reduction’ Conference in Birmingham on June 26. Member organisations and their workforce give a public commitment to the values and principles of the Network and to ensure the care and support they offer meets the performance standards outlined in the ‘Positive and Proactive Care’ guidance, which includes creating a safer and more positive service culture.

With the potential of vulnerable people in care services being subject to poor care outcomes in addition to the unnecessary use of restrictive practices, including the abuse and misuse of restraint, recently highlighted at Winterbourne View, there is still concern that restrictive approaches are not always being used as a last resort. The abuse of restraint can put the service-user and staff safety at risk, create a negative culture and lead to misuse or abuse when non-restrictive interventions could have been used.

To support the recent Government initiatives and guidance, the independent Restraint Reduction Network has been created to work with organisations and their leaders, managers and frontline staff to develop performance management strategies that focus on implementing a restraint reduction plan while sharing best practice and experiences.

Individuals and organisations that pledge to support the Network’s principles are asked to make a public commitment to work towards creating restraint-free environments and to draft an annual plan to minimise restrictive practices. Furthermore, members can also benchmark their services against those of other providers in the network and share best practice achievements, so others can learn and continue to improve their services and approaches.

Further reading: New guidance and training aims to stop inappropriate use of restraint in care settings

Professor Joy Duxbury, chair of the Restraint Reduction Network, said that the launch is the first step to minimising restraint in care and support services. “Sharing best practice and benchmarking restraint reduction plans and experiences will help all education, health and social care providers move towards a positive shift in culture that will ultimately provide a safer, happier and transparent environment for service users and staff.”

Martyn Dadds, managing director of CPI Europe, added: “From our work with organisations that are already committed to the values and principles of the Restraint Reduction Network, we believe this has a great potential to help organisations achieve significant improvements in this contentious area of practice. We are committed to supporting the Network and working with organisations as they develop their restraint reduction plans that focus on person centred care and non-restraint interventions. We are confident this will lead to improving everyone’s care, welfare, safety and security.”

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