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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.

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Northumberland, Tyne and Wear health trust responds to patient data

A statement from Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Trust said:

"Reasons for restraint can include a patient being violent or aggressive to either themselves or others with a small percentage of patients requiring high levels of restraint due to the complex nature of their illness.

"Analysis of our figures has shown that a small group of less than 50 patients, who demonstrate very complex and high-risk behaviours, account for over two thirds of the recorded incidents of restraint.

"Our staff are given extensive training in recognition, prevention and de-escalation skills as well as methods of physical restraint and the risks associated with the use of physical restraint to ensure that they can manage episodes of violence and aggression in a safe, supportive, dignified and professional manner in line with national guidance.

"As one of the largest mental health and disability trusts in the country, covering two large cities in the North East, we recognise we are one of the highest reporters among those organisations who responded to Mind's Freedom of Information request.

"Our recorded statistics are comparable to other mental health trusts of similar size and who also provide a similar range of regional and national specialist services.

"Due to the specialist nature of a number of our services such as our forensic services, the trust cares for some of the most complex and challenging patients from all over the country, which means that the figures may be higher when comparing to areas without such specialist services."

– Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Trust

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