Discussion of restraint within social care settings can provoke strong emotions amongst staff, with concerns being voiced about the potential for abuse and the impact on the human rights of service users. Reaching a consensus on when restraint may, or may not, be required is fraught with difficulty, particularly in a crisis situation where a change in a service user’s behaviour may place them at risk of harm.
All staff working within care settings should understand exactly what restraint is and when it is appropriate and the two new films released this week by the Social Care Institute for Excellence (SCIE) provide an excellent resource to improve knowledge in this area. The films, made with the help of the Royal College of Nursing and the British Institute of Human Rights, aim to promote open discussion about this difficult subject and focus on minimising restraint and respecting human rights. Read on to find out more about these useful training materials and how you can incorporate them into your staff training.
The two films, ‘Restraint: a human rights issue’ and ‘Practical approaches to minimising restraint’, are available from the SCIE’s website as part of its range of Social Care TV learning materials and are can be accessed, at no cost, by both care providers and individuals. The materials can be used on a stand alone basis, or as an element of your training on safeguarding, dementia, human rights, or any other related subject.
3 Steps to Improve Your Approach to Restraint
- Group supervision. Use the films as a discussion tool at group supervision meetings to ensure that all staff have the opportunity to watch them, ask questions and that you are satisfied with their understanding of this subject. One of the key messages of the films is to promote discussion about restraint and supervision provides a safe and constructive environment for this activity.
- Induction. Incorporate the films into your induction programme for new staff and as a resource to support candidates undertaking the new Care Certificate from April. Ensuring that new staff have a sound understanding of when restraint is appropriate and, in particular, that it should only be used as a last resort, will help to prevent problems at an early stage and develop their awareness of good safeguarding practice.
- Other resources. The SCIE also offers a range of factsheets on restraint and an e-learning module entitled ‘Managing risk, minimising restraint’, available on its website, which can be used to support learning and to complement these films. These resources can be used flexibly to improve your staff team’s knowledge, build confidence and to demonstrate to the Care Quality Commission that your staff have received appropriate information and training to support their practice.