This policy has been developed to stimulate discussion and awareness about the use and abuse of restraint and to detail the healthcare professional’s role where restraint is used. Healthcare staff have a duty of care towards their patients, and they should treat patients according to legal and professional requirements. This policy aims to assist staff in the decision-making process in the use of de-escalation techniques and clear guidelines relating to instances when clinical holding and restraint may be acceptable to provide effective treatment and care. It also outlines the requirements to ensure that consistent and systematic procedures are followed to protect patients and staff.



This policy encourages staff to look at the reasons behind the patient’s behaviour as an important first step in de-escalation ahead of considering the use of any physical intervention; it aims to ensure that safely meeting the clinical needs for the patient and supporting patients in all decision-making processes is paramount. The policy assists staff in making decisions on implementing de-escalation techniques and the use of clinical holding, if needed, to support delivery of clinical care to minimise the use of restraint. It emphasises the need for thorough assessment and record keeping as to what techniques have been utilised, clear escalation processes relating to behaviours and utilising risk assessments to ensure there is a clear and transparent process ahead of any decision for the use of restraint. This policy stresses that restraint must be a last resort and should only be considered when alternative methods of therapeutic behaviour management have failed. All uses of restraint must be monitored and clearly documented.


Policy Details

Download: PDF version
Compiled by: Jane Mitchell, Professional Head of Safeguarding
Ratified by: Practice Standards Group
Date Ratified: March 2024
Date Issued: April 2024
Review Date: March 2027
Target Audience: All staff
Contact name: Jane Mitchell


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