Almost 90% of health and social care practitioners who work in settings that use restrictive practices believe it has been harder to balance safety and best interests during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The survey, carried out by the Restraint Reduction Network to discover if the COVID-19 lockdown has led to an increase in restrictive practices, also found that 70% of respondents thought it had been harder to maintain a culture of using less restrictive practices and promoting human rights.
The survey also found:
- A fifth of respondents reported that there were occasions, in their opinion, when best interest decision-making had been unnecessarily compromised by safety concerns
- Opinion was divided when asked if the use of physical restraint had remained the same, increased or decreased. Increases were more common in services for people with mental health conditions, whilst incidences of physical restraint in services for people with learning disabilities were believed to have decreased
- Between a quarter and a third of respondents thought there had been increases in the use of medication, seclusion and segregation