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Wednesday 20th September 2017

Face-down restraint being used in mental health wards

21st September 2016

Despite the government and the NHS saying it should stop, face-down physical restraint, which can restrict a patient's breathing, is still being used in mental health wards in England.

mentalhealthillness2In 2013/14, 22.4% of recorded incidents of restraints were face-down, falling to 18.5% by 2015/16.

Some healthcare trainers say face-down restraint can sometimes be the only appropriate way of keeping staff and patients safe.

These figures were gathered following a Freedom of Information request by Norman Lamb who introduced the new guidance in April 2014.


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