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restraint reduction network

Lifeways joined the Restraint Reduction Network (RRN) in May, a charity that works to cut down restrictive practices and ensure better, more independent lives, for people who receive support across the UK.

By becoming members, we are able to better demonstrate our commitment to reducing restrictive practices.

What is a restrictive practice?

When an individual receives support, there may sometimes be exceptional circumstances where restrictive practices – such as physical restraint – are needed to keep the individual, or others around them, safe from harm.

According to the Mental Health Act’s Code of Practice (2015), physical restraint, also known as manual restraint, is defined as: “any direct physical contact where the intervener’s intention is to prevent, restrict, or subdue movement of the body, or part of the body of another.”

However, along with many other providers, Lifeways views restraint as a practice that “should only ever be used as a last resort and after any other non-restrictive interventions have been ineffective,” says Jo Lourmpa, Lifeways’ Lead Specialist Support Manager.

Jo adds: “Essentially, if we meet the person’s needs in the right environment it is less likely they will display behaviours that challenge. And even then, we have an arsenal of non-restrictive and non-aversive strategies to try first.”

How Restraint Reduction Network membership helps

Jo specialises in Positive Behaviour Support (PBS), a framework that empowers people who may display behaviours that challenge. One of the core values of Positive Behaviour Support is a reduction in restrictive practices.

“Our membership enables us to receive direct updates on legislation and best practice guidelines around use of restraint and restrictive practices, and gives us access to some great tools and resources to support this process.”

Before becoming members of the Restraint Reduction Network, Lifeways’ colleague training was already fully compliant with the Restraint Reduction Network’s standards.

Additionally, a majority of our Specialist Support team members have taken individual pledges with the Restraint Reduction Network.

What are our next steps?

Jo and her team are currently working on rolling out our Managing Universal Positive Behaviour Support (PBS) training for our colleagues in managerial and supervisory roles.

This training will promote practice leadership - where managers and their staff teams develop and deliver person centred care by modelling, coaching, and supervision - and a service-wide application of Positive Behaviour Support, especially in our high-acuity services.

Lifeways will “continue to work hard on identifying and reducing restrictive practice across the organisation, as well as take positive risks that enable the people we support to live fulfilling lives without unnecessary restrictions,” says Jo.


About Lifeways:

Lifeways is the UK’s largest team of support professionals providing support for adults in the community.

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