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DoH GUIDANCE – Reducing the Need for Restraint and Restrictive Intervention – Children and Young People

Department of Health and Department of Education have jointly commissioned new guidance reducing the need for restraint and restrictive intervention for children and young people with learning disabilities, autistic spectrum disorder and mental health difficulties.

This guidance replaces:

  • Guidance for Restrictive Physical Interventions: How to provide safe services for people with Learning Disabilities and Autistic Spectrum Disorder (2002, DfES and DH); and
  • Guidance on the Use of Restrictive Physical Interventions for Pupils with Severe Behavioural Difficulties (2003, DfES and DH).

The aim of the guidance is to help special education, health and care settings to develop plans to support children and young people whose behaviour challenges. It states that the elimination of the inappropriate use of restraint is vital in this.

The following paragraphs should be noted:

  • Paragraph 6 lists the settings that it will apply to.
  • Paragraph 8 lists who should take note of the guidance.
  • Paragraph 16 sets out the role of commissioners.
  • Paragraph 17 emphasises the need for high-quality training for staff and clear arrangements for governance and accountability.
  • Paragraph 25 sets out the key principles.
  • Paragraph 26 sets out the key actions for settings and services and chapter 4 covers these in detail. This includes: having a clear policy; having a system in place for improving assessment and management of risk, and recording and reporting.

Both CQC and Ofsted will have regard to the guidance when assessing whether institutions are providing safe and appropriate education and care.

Consultation page here:


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