Norman Lamb: We need safe, compassionate mental health care

May 12, 2014 10:20 PM
Originally published by UK Liberal Democrats

Norman Lamb wrote in the Guardian today about the need for safe and compassionate mental health care and the new two-year programme that will help to make this possible.

Last month Norman oversaw the launch of Positive and Safe, a two-year programme that the Liberal Democrats have committed £1.2 million to, that will end the deliberate use of facedown restraint in all health and care settings. It aims to create a more positive, therapeutic environment where restrictive interventions such as physical, chemical or mechanical restraint and seclusion are prevented.

By working with the Royal College of Nursing, Skills for Health and Skills for Care, new guidelines have been set out for professionals and workforce training. The guidance recommends alternative approaches to encourage positive behaviour instead of restricting negative behaviour. It forms part of the Care Quality Commission's rigorous inspections to ensure that the guidelines are followed.

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In his article, Norman Lamb said:

"We want to promote a culture where the use of forcible interventions is radically reduced, where staff and patients are safe and where dignity and respect are paramount."

He said that there have already been excellent examples across the system:

"When I visited Oxleas mental health hospital recently to launch our Crisis Care Concordat, staff demonstrated how they're taking action to reduce the use of restraint and offer more supportive, compassionate crisis care. Such examples show that it is possible."