RRN welcomes new CQC Policy Position on Restrictive Practices

The Restraint Reduction Network warmly welcomes the new policy position on restrictive practices published by Care Quality Commission (CQC).

The policy position, shared by Rebecca Bauers (Interim Director of People with a Learning Disability and Autistic People) and Chris Dzikiti (Director of Mental Health), sets a clear expectation of person centred, rights-based care, positive cultures and accountability within services. It is a bold and much needed statement of intent, recognising and supporting the need for culture change within services.  Culture change is difficult and requires that people and organisations put their head above the parapet to lead the way in finding better ways to provide care.

In reaching this position statement, the CQC have listened to people with lived experience of restraint and the position states a clear expectation that services will strive to get support right for the people they support, highlighting the need for trauma-informed approaches and the importance of reasonable adjustments.

We support the focus on accountability and expectation that reducing restrictive practices be a priority at all levels within an organisation. Restrictive practices cause distress and long-term trauma, undermine dignity, and cause physical harm, and yet there remains an over-reliance on these within our current health, social care and education sectors. A systemic approach to change is essential to embedding a positive, rights-respecting culture. Whole-organisational approaches, incorporating the six core strategies on leadership, data collection, training, prevention, involving people with lived experience and post incident support and debriefing are key to creating culture change that supports restraint reduction.

This new position sets an expectation for change within health and social care services. While this is a welcome development within health and social care settings, we hope that the Ofsted will see this development as an opportunity to follow suit, and ensure similar protections for children within educational and children’s services.

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