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The RRN response to the Panorama exposure of abuse at Edenfield Centre 

The Restraint Reduction Network (RRN), like many others, are deeply saddened by the recent Panorama footage of the Edenfield Centre near Manchester and the shocking treatment of patients such as Olivia and Harley.

Mental health services should be therapeutic places of safety where people are supported. Clearly this has not been the experience of Olivia or Harley. Instead, they have been subjected to a toxic culture where their rights have been violated, they have been subjected to degrading treatment, and where the inappropriate use of blanket restrictions, physical restraint, and enforced isolation appear common practice.

There is a strong evidence base for approaches that reduce reliance on restrictive practices such as the Six Core Strategies. Mental health trusts now have a statutory requirement under the Mental Health Units Use of Force act to only use training that is certified as complying with the RRN training standards. We would encourage the Greater Manchester Mental Health Foundation Trust to ensure this is the case and that the centre adheres to approaches that promote positive cultures, person centredness and a reduction in the use of restrictive practices, including the six core strategies.

This is not the first time Panorama and investigative media have exposed the dehumanising treatment and emotional abuse of patients in mental health institutions. In recent years, NHS England (NHSE) has put significant focus on reducing restrictive practices in mental health, learning disability and autism services. It is vital that this focus on reducing restrictive practices in toxic cultures remains a priority.

“I am shocked and hugely saddened to see yet another example where the rights of those most vulnerable are not only ignored but trampled upon and people’s complex needs are not central to their care.  Toxic cultures such as these underpinned by dehumanising behaviours have no place in our modern-day health and social care systems. There is much to be learnt from instances such as this and the RRN will always be here to champion dedicated and passionate communities of practices and positive, safe and caring cultures that promote the minimisation of restrictive practices and environments.” Professor Joy Duxbury OBE, Restraint Reduction Network

To access the Six Core Strategies infographic developed by RRN please click here.

For more information on the RRN training standards please click here.