Challenging Behaviour, De-escalation Techniques and Restraining People

It has recently been reported that the incidence of people with learning disabilities who have had to be restrained has increased by 50% a year.

The Guardian reports that “staff in NHS mental health hospitals deployed restraint on such patients 22,000 times last year, almost 50% more than the 15,000 occasions in 2016, BBC research has found.”

They also discovered that face-down or “prone” restraint, which is particularly controversial and has been widely criticised as dangerous was used 2,200 times in 2016 but the figure rose to 3,100 in 2017. The use of face-down restraint has been banned by the government guidelines for several years now, after an incident in Staffordshire.

The Department of Health attributes some of the increase is due to better reporting.

The reasons for behaviour that challenges are manifold, but usually has an outcome for the person with learning disabilities. It is because of these types of behaviour that restraint is sometimes the product of challenging behaviour.

Functional outcomes of behaviour that challenges includes, attention-seeking, pain relief and so on. Its main function is a method of communication.

If the reason or function of the challenging behaviour can be established early on, then some instances of restraining can be avoided.

Ashfield organise and present courses on the challenging behaviour, de-escalation techniques and restraining people and can also produce bespoke courses according to the needs of the customer.

If you require any training around the above points I have discussed, please get in touch with us on 0800 012 6085.

Thank you once again for taking the time to read through this blog, I hope it has been useful to you. If you have any questions around this, please do not hesitate to get in contact with us.


Mike Redworth
Senior Clinical Lead

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