Skip to main content

Mental Health Services: Restraint Techniques

Volume 472: debated on Thursday 21 February 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will introduce (a) mandatory training for staff who are involved in restraint or other physical interventions in mental health units, (b) an accreditation scheme for trainers in necessary restraint skills and (c) definitive guidance on the management of violence in mental health acute units. (186662)

The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence published guidelines in 2005 entitled “Short-term Management of Violence and Disturbed Behaviour in Psychiatric In-patient Settings and Emergency Departments”. These guidelines state that all service providers should have a policy for training in physical intervention that specifies the frequency and level of training required.

The NHS Security Management Service has developed training for all National Health Service staff in mental health and learning disabilities settings entitled The Promoting Safer and Therapeutic Services training-programme. This does not include training in physical intervention techniques.

The Department and the National Institute for Mental Health in England (NIMHE) are committed to the accreditation of training and regulation of trainers in the prevention and management of aggression and violence and are currently working to ensure the introduction of an effective accreditation system.

NIMHE issued the positive practice standards “Developing Positive Practice to Support the Safe and Therapeutic Management of Aggression and Violence in Mental Health In-patient Settings” in 2004.

On 8 February, consultation ended on definitive guidance by NIMHE entitled “The National Minimum Standards for the Safe and Therapeutic Management of Aggression and Violence in Mental Health In-patient Settings.” Responses to this consultation are being considered.