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Addressing Restrictive Practices in Healthcare: A Commitment to Person-Centered Care

At HLTH Group, we recognise the pivotal significance of promoting safety, well-being, and dignity in healthcare settings. Recently, the Care Quality Commission (CQC) highlighted the concept of restrictive practices and their impact on individuals’ mental, physical, and emotional health and as the leader for CQC compliance support, we’re committed to shedding light on this important issue.

𝗨𝗻𝗱𝗲𝗿𝘀𝘁𝗮𝗻𝗱𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗥𝗲𝘀𝘁𝗿𝗶𝗰𝘁𝗶𝘃𝗲 𝗣𝗿𝗮𝗰𝘁𝗶𝗰𝗲𝘀
Restrictive practice refers to actions that compel individuals to do something against their will or restrict their desired actions. It can lead to profound consequences on an individual’s overall well-being, potentially infringing on their human rights. While there may be limited situations where restrictive practices are used for safety reasons, they must be employed cautiously and ethically, ensuring the least restrictive approach is adopted.

𝗧𝗵𝗲 𝗜𝗺𝗽𝗹𝗶𝗰𝗮𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻𝘀 𝗼𝗳 𝗥𝗲𝘀𝘁𝗿𝗶𝗰𝘁𝗶𝘃𝗲 𝗣𝗿𝗮𝗰𝘁𝗶𝗰𝗲𝘀
The effects of restrictive practices are multifaceted, affecting mental and physical health while potentially violating human rights. Our primary concern lies in the subtle forms of restrictive practices that can subtly become normalised responses in healthcare settings. These practices can inadvertently compromise person-centered and trauma-informed care, which is essential for the well-being of individuals.

𝗦𝘂𝗯𝘁𝗹𝗲 𝗜𝗻𝘀𝘁𝗮𝗻𝗰𝗲𝘀 𝗼𝗳 𝗥𝗲𝘀𝘁𝗿𝗶𝗰𝘁𝗶𝘃𝗲 𝗣𝗿𝗮𝗰𝘁𝗶𝗰𝗲:
𝗜𝗻𝗰𝗼𝗻𝘁𝗶𝗻𝗲𝗻𝗰𝗲 𝗣𝗿𝗼𝗱𝘂𝗰𝘁 𝗨𝘀𝗲: Encouraging individuals to use incontinence products to manage their restroom requirements primarily for staff convenience.
𝗥𝗲𝘀𝘁𝗿𝗶𝗰𝘁𝗲𝗱 𝗔𝗰𝗰𝗲𝘀𝘀 𝘁𝗼 𝗪𝗮𝗹𝗸𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗙𝗿𝗮𝗺𝗲𝘀: Placing walking frames out of reach, unintentionally limiting a person’s movement and confining them to a specific area.
𝗨𝘀𝗲 𝗼𝗳 𝗕𝗶𝗯𝘀 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝗙𝗲𝗲𝗱𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗖𝘂𝗽𝘀: Mandating the use of bibs and feeding cups, potentially diminishing an individual’s autonomy over mealtime choices.
𝗜𝗻𝗮𝗽𝗽𝗿𝗼𝗽𝗿𝗶𝗮𝘁𝗲 𝗪𝗵𝗲𝗲𝗹𝗰𝗵𝗮𝗶𝗿 𝗨𝘀𝗮𝗴𝗲: Insisting on wheelchair use even when individuals are capable and willing to walk, potentially impinging on their mobility.
𝗟𝗶𝗺𝗶𝘁𝗲𝗱 𝗩𝗶𝘀𝗶𝘁𝗼𝗿, 𝗙𝗿𝗶𝗲𝗻𝗱, 𝗼𝗿 𝗙𝗼𝗼𝗱 𝗔𝗰𝗰𝗲𝘀𝘀: Denying access to visitors, friends, or meals due to staffing constraints or time limitations, inadvertently isolating individuals from essential social interactions and nourishment.

𝗧𝗵𝗲 𝗥𝗼𝗹𝗲 𝗼𝗳 𝗟𝗲𝗮𝗱𝗲𝗿𝘀𝗵𝗶𝗽 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝗖𝘂𝗹𝘁𝘂𝗿𝗲
To effect meaningful change, you will need to recognise the significance of leadership and culture within your organisation. This shift entails listening to individuals, understanding their unique needs and expressions, and responding proactively to avoid situations that escalate to restrictive practices. A key role of leadership is to create environments that prioritise trauma-informed care and recovery.

You can read more on restrictive practices on the CQC website. If you feel your organisation would benefit from receiving support from one of our experts, including leadership & culture training, or compliance support, please get in touch today.