North East patient restraint data revealed

Nearly 40,000 incidents of physical restraint on mental health patients in England were recorded in one year - with more than 3,000 in the "dangerous" face-down position - according to figures released by a charity.

Mind said data obtained under the FoI Act showed 39,883 reported incidents of physical restraint in mental health trusts during 2011/12, with at least 949 people with mental health problems being injured.

The Tees, Esk and Wear Valleys NHS Foundation Trust reported 3346 incidents in one year.

Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust also recorded 923 incidents of face-down restraint according to the charity's figures.

A separate survey by Mind of 375 frontline healthcare staff involved in physically restraining people with mental health problems, showed:

  • 22% had not had face-to-face training on physical restraint techniques in the last 12 months
  • 42% said that, with hindsight, they felt that restraint had sometimes been used "inappropriately"

"Physical restraint can be humiliating, dangerous and even life-threatening and the huge variation in its use indicates that some trusts are using it too quickly.

"Face-down restraint, when a person is pinned face-down on the floor, is particularly dangerous, as well as extremely frightening to the person being restrained. It has no place in modern healthcare and its use must be ended."

– Paul Farmer, Mind chief executive

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Charity calls for ban on 'face-down restraint'

Nearly 40,000 incidents of physical restraint on mental health patients in England were recorded in one year, with more than 3,000 in the "dangerous" face-down position - according to figures released by a charity.