Member of staff talking to a person he's supporting about reducing restraint

Reducing Restraint and Timian

James Hourihan, Author

The last few years have seen the arrival of the Restraint Reduction Network. Along with it a new certification in physical interventions training with Certification through Bild Act. This is a welcome addition in the move toward reducing restraint in Health and Social Care. This is the latest step in the search to find a solution to the use of inappropriate and unnecessary restraint.

History of Restraint Accreditation (1998-2019)

At the end of the 20th Century a group were tasked with writing and developing the BILD Code of Practice in Physical Interventions. The group included training providers and the British Institute of Learning Disabilities. James Hourihan, the founder of Timian, was involved in this group. Timian was also the first organisation to be accredited under the scheme.

The primary purpose of the scheme was to create regulation in the world of restraint training in learning disabilities. It was also designed to ensure that trainers and training organisations understood the user groups involved and were therefore required to deliver training in the context of trauma informed care, communication, legal issues alongside defusion and de-escalation techniques.

This accreditation scheme,  was given more weight after a series of scandals culminating in the MacIntyre Undercover documentary investigation into care homes in the South East of England. Of course, the scheme didn’t stop the scandals, because training isn’t the cure. There were further scandals including the Panorama Documentary “When the Caring Stops” which can be seen here.

The New Certification (2019-present day)

The original scheme was in entering into its 18th year when it was replaced by the RRN scheme. The new scheme is more complex and places more onus on training organisations to monitor those they teach. The user group has grown to include Mental Health, Older Adult Services as well as Learning Disabilities and Autism. It is designed for adults and children. It is hoped that it will also cover education in the near future. The new certification attempts to be more robust in reducing restraint. This robustness includes the requirement for organisations to deliver training which has input from people with lived experience as well as basing it on a strict process of training needs analysis.

Like the last scheme, Timian is also certified in this scheme.

Timian’s View

With or without the new scheme or the old scheme, Timian have always focused on reducing restraint and we always will. We were among the first organisations to focus on the causes of behavioural challenges rather than solely on the impact of the behaviour. Timian were among the first who looked at the acceptability of interventions. We have always ensured that when we deliver training that includes any form of restraint, it is put in context.

The purpose of restraint should always be to make all people safer, physically and psychologically. The majority of our training courses focusses on establishing a core value base using empathy and understanding why behaviour happens.

We develop strategies for supporting people in crisis and understanding trauma. Timian also encourages organisations to ask why they are restraining people in their care and challenge them to justify it with evidence. It is only when the training delivered is performed in the correct context can we reduce restraint.

We have been doing this for over a quarter of a century and we welcome the new certification scheme in joining us in our journey.

James Hourihan

Director Timian Learning and Development

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