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Like-minded organisations in pursuit of restraint-free services

Thinking, Learning and Understanding – Essential Proactive Strategies For All Staff

Becs Gratton and Sue Hatton, from the Embrace Group, are delivering a workshop at November’s Restraint Reduction Conference. Here they talk about the process of embedding a Positive Behaviour Support programme and framework using ‘Derren’s story’ to highlight the challenges and successes of this approach in ensuring that the use of restraint is the last resort.


We are having to restrain Derren as he is destroying the house, hurting staff and hurting himself.
Senior Support Worker, July 2013.

As a company Embrace is in the process of embedding a Positive Behaviour support approach and framework. Taking the word ‘behaviour’ our altogether is, we believe, the best way forward and laying the emphasis on what it means to support people in a truly positive and person-centred way.

At Embrace, like many other health and social care providers we have some individuals who are difficult to engage with and challenging to support. We have learnt that the most positive thing we can do is get to know each person and, in getting to know them, get to understand the nature of their diagnosis and how it impacts upon each person in a unique way. This is the work that will enable proactive strategies to be built up and used each day, each hour, so that staff are working not just with a level of awareness to aid understanding, but in a truly intelligent and effective way that comes from the ability to apply knowledge and learning to everyday practice.

Derren was on holiday in Scotland last week. He had a great time walking and swimming. His cycling has improved and he is also fully involved in household chores like cooking. We have not seen any kind of challenging behaviour for months and the whole staff team are not just happy to work with Derren, but love working with him. His mum visits regularly and spends time on her own with him. It was training that made sense that a made a difference to us…we began to understand what was going on in Derren’s head and that, in order to be proactive, this was the most important thing we could to.
Senior Support Worker, September 2015.