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 of 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 considering the use of restraint and to putting the patient first in the decision-making process. The policy assists staff in decisions on the use of restraint and emphasises the need for thorough assessment and record-keeping as to why restraint is necessary, and the need for close monitoring of its use. The policy stresses that restraint must be a last resort and should only be considered when alternative methods of therapeutic behaviour management have failed.


Policy Summary

This policy is designed to define restrictive practice/restraint and to allow the practitioner to ensure that the care or treatment that they are offering is lawful, necessary, proportionate, and the least restrictive option reasonably available. These issues should be applied in conjunction with principles of dignity, equality, respect, fairness and autonomy.


Policy Details

Download: PDF version
Compiled by: Jane Mitchell
Ratified by: Safeguarding Committee
Date Ratified: January 2020
Date Issued: January 2020
Review Date: November 2022
Target Audience: All staff
Contact name: Jane Mitchell


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