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Restraint Reduction Network welcomes launch of landmark Reducing Restrictive Practice Framework in Wales

The Restraint Reduction Network (RRN) has today (19 July 2021) welcomed the Welsh Government’s launch of the Reducing Restrictive Practice Framework (RRPF) in Wales as a ‘major milestone,’ calling for a strong and transparent implementation plan to be in place for Autumn 2021 to support the roll-out required across health, education and social care settings in Wales.[1]

The RRN is a coalition of committed organisations and individuals who provide education, health and social care services, alongside experts by experience and families, all aiming to eliminate the use of unnecessary restrictive practices. In 2019, they were commissioned by the Welsh government to support the development of the Reducing Restrictive Practice Framework. This work saw experts by experience and cross-sector specialists co-produce a framework to make a real and lasting difference to people with learning disabilities, autistic people and other vulnerable groups.

The RRPF applies to all Welsh citizens of every age across health, education and social care settings.[2] It promotes measures and practices that will lead to the reduction of restrictive practices. It supports people across all sectors, including people in care, those who have mental health conditions and individuals living with dementia – and promotes a person-centred, human rights approach.

Professor Edwin Jones, a member of the Restraint Reduction Steering Group that worked on the development of the Framework, shared his views on the Government’s launch announcement:

“Today’s launch of the Welsh Reducing Restrictive Practice Framework represents a major milestone in our work and it is very encouraging to see Wales taking a lead in this way. Many of those involved in restraint reduction view this framework as one of the best pieces of good practice to date. It was deeply rewarding to work collaboratively with experts by experience, Welsh government officials, as well as individuals from a wide range of organisations and sectors.

“However, while we celebrate the Framework, and welcome its implementation, we must keep momentum going for long-lasting change to truly occur. The Welsh Government’s announcement must be backed by concerted action on implementation. Reducing restrictive practice is a fundamental human rights issue, and, if we get this right, we will reduce distress, save lives and pave the way for future generations.”

To this end, RRN is calling for:

  • Strong and transparent RRPF implementation plans for Autumn 2021, with clear actions and timescales
  • Experts by experience to be involved in meaningful co-production and implementation planning at every step, especially people who have been subjected to restraint themselves, as well as their families
  • The creation of accurate and effective monitoring systems to assess how much restraint is currently being used – and thus properly evaluate attempts at reducing it
  • Support for each sector to consider its own needs, and develop sector-specific implementation plans
  • Assurance that when the framework is implemented across different sectors in Wales, it will be with evidence-based recommended practice, including implementation of Recommendation 85 in the report: i.e. certified training accredited by UKAS

Alexis Quinn, RRN’s Manager – who was herself subjected to harmful restrictive practices in care – voiced her own support and views on the Framework:

“We must consider how we can work to create a culture change, moving away from over-reliance on restraint and restriction and instead empowering people to live their own lives in their own terms. This is what motivated the Restraint Reduction Network steering group to create a framework that is entirely human rights-centred, with a consistent focus on understanding and collaboration.

“Too many people are discouraged from care approaches that address why individuals may be distressed. When we are supported to find this understanding, and use it in daily practice, we build better support for everyone, supporting positive outcomes for all individuals. Though there’s lots of work still to be done to make education, health and social care the best cultures they can be, we applaud the Welsh Government for taking a critical step in the right direction.”

To mark the implementation of the framework, and explore what the launch means for sectors in Wales and beyond, RRN will host a webinar on Thursday 22 July at 10am BST: Marking the imminent launch of the Welsh Reducing Restrictive Practice Framework.

The online event is free to attend and will include an expert panel discussion featuring Humie Webbe, Chair of the Learning Disabilities Ministerial Advisory Group; Zoe Richards, CEO, Learning Disability Wales; Dawn Cavanagh, parent expert by experience, and Pauline Young MBE, Chair of the All Wales Forum, among other leading voices.

Interested parties can register to attend at: www.us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_QBapD0MjSIShdkKBk6rsVw

The full Reducing Restrictive Practices Framework is accessible online, at:

www.gov.wales/reducing-restrictive-practices-framework-2021                     

www.gov.wales/written-statement-reducing-restrictive-practices-framework

Restrictive practices are defined as a wide range of activities that stop individuals from doing things they want to do, or encourage individuals to do things that they don’t want to do.[3] These practices  can be both very obvious and subtle, and encompass physical restraint, chemical restraint, seclusion or enforced isolation and coercion. Acts of restraint are carried out with the purpose of restricting an individual’s movement, liberty and/or freedom to act independently.[4]


[1] Note: the Framework does not cover police or prison settings

[3] Care Council for Wales, 2016 as referenced in the full Reducing Restrictive Practices Framework consultation. Available at: www.gov.wales/sites/default/files/consultations/2019-10/consultation-document-reducing-restrictive-practices-framework.pdf

[4] Welsh Government, 2016 as referenced in above link

Further Information

For further information, or to interview a representative from RRN, please contact Laura Smith at Consilium Communications via lsmith@consiliumcommunications.co.uk / 07467945848.

The full press release can be downloaded here.