Quick question. I saw a female patient last night with her arms tied behind her back. She had a packet of crisps and was able to eat them if she shuffled about. When I asked why she was tied up they said she self harmed and would attack staff. Having never worked at an autism place before do you have any idea if this is the kind of treatment that is normal and acceptable. My instinct tells me it isn't and I am going to report it directly to the police (I'd rather be wrong and look like a fool than do nothing and turn a blind eye). Just wanted a second opinion. Ta.
Yes Report to police and the inspectorate.Your description of events does seem rather primitive and could be construed as abusive.There is a big difference between ‘protective devices’ (padding, arm splints, helmets etc.) and restraint physical or otherwise, which ‘may’ be contravening Human Rights issues. In all respects a detailed care plan should be in place and all staff aware of procedure. Careful monitoring is essential. Risk assessments should already have been taken and guidance with Health Authority representatives, patient’s carers or guardians and all parties involved agreeing to the safest management of such behaviours that serves the best interests of the patient. Not least, an assessment to try to understand the Why? Of such behaviours causes etc. and any interventions that can be used or tried to prevent SIB or escalation of. Restraint is used as a last resort and for the minimum time. You may like to look at Government policy on Restraint and Seclusion at this websitehttp://www.dhsspsni.gov.uk/restraint_and_seclusion_august_2005.pdfandhttp://www.challengingbehaviour.org.uk/learning-disability-files/06---SIB-web.pdf