RRN Blanket Restrictions resource toolkit

In autumn 2019, a National Quality Improvement Taskforce was established to improve current specialist children and young people’s inpatient mental health, autism and learning disability services in England. The Taskforce seeks to make a rapid set of improvements in care, with delivery of the programme by March 2022.

These resources were commissioned from the Restraint Reduction Network by the Taskforce in support of its work on the use restrictive practices.

The Blanket Restrictions Toolkit hopes to ensure rights respected care by reducing reliance on blanket restrictions.

Launched at an RRN webinar with nearly 200 attendees, Alexis Quinn (RRN Manager) discussed Blanket Restrictions in detail and what can be done to address their use in our systems. Blanket restrictions are not well understood and part of the work of the RRN has been to usefully define this restrictive practice. 

Alexis Quinn said: “Much time has been spent reducing the use of the more obvious forms of restrictive practices, such as restraint and seclusion – and quite rightly so! Meanwhile, the apparently innocuous ‘blanket restrictions’ have flown under the radar and received much less scrutiny.

“The negative impact of blanket restrictions on the lives of hospital patients, people living in care centres and their families is not as well-known as the use of restraint or seclusion and is often simply seen as ‘that’s the way it is here’. But the traumatic effect of these blanket rules which remove people’s freedoms can continue for many years. We are pleased to have worked with the National Quality Improvement Taskforce to spotlight this important issue and hope that the Blanket Restrictions Toolkit will make a difference in care and hospital settings where awareness and changes in practice are greatly needed!”

Blanket restrictions can cause trauma for individuals and their loved ones. The Toolkit features important testimonies from people with lived experience and their families detailing their direct experiences of living through blanket restrictions.

The Toolkit also includes guidance for practice leaders and senior leaders. It outlines practical ways services can alter their cultures and dynamics by taking a systems approach to change so people are able to enjoy as much freedom as possible. Everyone has so much to gain from reflecting on the use of blanket restrictions!

Download the Toolkit resources now: