A Learner’s Perspective

Lucy's Experience of the Level 4 Certificate in Reducing Restrictive Practices

Lucy is Regional Violence and Restraint Reduction Lead (South East) at Cygnet Health Care. She completed the Restraint Reduction Network’s Certificate in Reducing Restrictive Practices in 2023.

‘This qualification has truly made a difference’

‘I started this course in July 2022 with the aim to understand and develop new practices and ideas that will support the people in our care. My goal was to be able to give our individuals more opportunities to achieve something for themselves, however big or small.

‘I found all the topics really interesting, particularly learning about building rapport with the people we support, trauma-informed care and sensory needs. Communication is so important for making people feel safe and supported. We often don’t think about sensory needs for someone who is on a mental health ward, but the impact can be huge. The assignments allowed us to dive deeper into so many different areas and the practical elements of the course gave us the opportunity to put theory into practice.

‘For my final assignment, I decided to choose a restriction to look at in detail in agreement with a lady who felt restrained by being unable to dress herself. Our department hadn’t thought about this restriction.

‘It is something that we, and many others across the country, do naturally as part of everyday practice. My assignment made us realise that we can give people their dignity and provide them with a sense of freedom if we do things differently. Instead of thinking about minimising risk, we should be thinking about giving people the skills to cope with those risks and not increase the risk to themselves or others. We also need to do better at reviewing restrictions more frequently and making sure that these are always individualised and not blanket rules. The project I did enabled my focus person to develop these skills by gradually exposing her to things that would have been considered too risky for her previously.

‘Completing the Certificate has allowed me to gain so many more ideas, enabling me to share my knowledge and resources to better the training I provide. I would recommend this course to any Restraint Reduction Manager or Lead.

‘The more staff/carers who can gain this additional knowledge, the bigger the difference we can make to so many people.’

Lucy’s top three course benefits:

  1. Having frameworks and evidence to support reducing restrictions.
  2. Seeing mindsets change with the ward team the more I worked with them.
  3. Seeing a massively positive impact on my focus person.

Further information

For further information about the Certificate in Reducing Restrictive Practices, and our other qualifications, visit the RRN Qualifications page here.