From The Guardian: Thousands of patients in NHS mental health units are injured every year when they are restrained by staff, according to new figures which campaigners have branded “horrifying.”
A total of 3,652 patients suffered an injury through being restrained during 2016-17 — the highest number ever — according to data from 48 of England’s 56 mental health trusts. The figures raise serious questions about the effectiveness of the government’s drive to reduce use of techniques which critics say can be traumatic for patients and even endanger their lives.
“Whilst this dramatic increase may be partly explained by improved reporting, the scale of injuries is horrifying. This is also, no doubt, in part due to the stress that many trusts are under, with bed occupancy close to 100% and often relying on agency staff,” said Liberal Democrat MP Norman Lamb. He was the health minister in the coalition government which in 2014 ordered NHS mental health trusts to reduce their use of restraint.