RRN responds to new literature review on staff training and physical interventions

A new literature review titled Staff training in physical interventions: a literature review was published this month in Frontiers in Psychiatry. The RRN welcomes efforts to establish a sound evidence base for best practice when supporting people in distress and the review is helpful in summarising that existing research shows there is a lack of evidence that physical intervention training leads to meaningful or positive outcomes for people accessing services. It also recognises the lack of high quality research currently available on the subject.

The review further supports evidence that a systems approach is needed to embed a culture that reduces restrictive practices, such as the six core strategies which includes leadership, data collection, preventative approaches, the involvement of people with lived experience and post incident briefing alongside staff training. We echo the authors’ view that the inclusion of the views of people with lived experience as a meaningful outcome would greatly improve the quality of current research.

While the review demonstrates a lack evidence for positive outcomes following physical intervention training, in services where restrictive interventions are used, training must be in place for staff. Quality assured training, alongside complementary approaches to embedding positive cultures and reducing restrictive practices, are essential in protecting people accessing services and enabling staff to do their job providing care and support.

RRN Training Standards provide best practice, ethical training standards focussed on prevention and de-escalation wherever possible. As an organisation seeking to reduce the use of unnecessary and inappropriate restraint, we do not train people nor advocate for the use of any type of restraint. However, through holding training providers and curriculum to high standards, with appropriate focus on human rights, prevention and inclusion of the voice of lived experience, training can contribute to improved service cultures and practices that better serve the needs of the people they exist to support.

In 2022, an independent report from Manchester Metropolitan University found the RRN Training Standards were an important factor contributing to culture shift in the use of restrictive practices, raised quality of training in certified organisations and provided organisations with a form of leverage, reassurance or legitimacy when seeking to implement strategies to reduce restrictive practice.

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