25 Sep 2023
by Policy, Practice and Innovation Team

The Care Quality Commission has issued a new cross-sector policy position statement on restrictive practice – an important document for members, and indeed all health and social care providers, to read.

This follows earlier work by CQC on restrictive practices, and a request from members of their expert advisory group for people with a learning disability and autistic people earlier this year.

The implications of the new policy position, and what it means for providers and people receiving services, are discussed in an article by Rebecca Bauers, Interim Director for People with a Learning Disability and Autistic People, and Chris Dzikiti, Director for Mental Health, CQC.

The article shares the new policy, discusses what forms restrictive practices can take, and explains how the use of blanket restrictions diminishes the therapeutic power of person-centred, trauma-informed care.

The policy position makes clear that CQC expect leaders of services, systems, and all those working in health and social care to take immediate steps to identify and reduce restrictive practices in their services, where possible.

They must understand the events that led up to any incidents where restrictive practice was used, report on them, learn from them, and actively work to reduce them in future.

CQC view reducing restrictive practice as everyone’s responsibility and expect everyone in health and social care to be actively working towards reducing the use of restrictive practice, replacing it with regularly reviewed, person-centred, trauma-informed care plans, tailored to each individual’s specific needs.

We suggest members read this article, including CQC's policy position, in full.

CQC are developing guidance for their inspectors on the use of restrictive practices, which they plan to incorporate into their single assessment framework for inspecting services later this year. They also intend to share examples of what good practice looks like and the important role leadership and culture play.

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