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HSE National Restraint Policy


HSE National Policy on the use of Physical Restraints in Designated Care Units for Older People (2010)

The policy (HSE, 2010) on the use of physical restraints in designated residential care units for older people was developed by an interdisciplinary group, led by the HSE and working in partnership with Nursing Homes Ireland. The development of this policy was guided by the ‘National Quality Standards for Residential Care Setting for Older People’ (Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA) 2009 and the HSE policy ‘Responding to Allegations of Elder Abuse Policy’ (HSE, 2007). The document includes detailed direction on policy, procedures and guidelines on the limited circumstances where physical restraint use is permitted. The policy is intended for use in all residential care settings (public, private and voluntary) where older people reside and applies to all staff working within these units.

The 2010 policy document was approved by the HSE senior management team and the document includes the policy, the procedures and the guidelines in this specific area. Implementation of the policy commenced in the first three months of 2011 and was supported and led out by the ONMSD at national level and locally by the NMPDUs and CNMEs. This included agreeing a process and developing an education programme to enable and support the implementation of the policy at local level.

Within the policy governance requirements, an audit of compliance and review was identified six months post implementation of the policy.  This audit has now been completed by the HSE Quality and Patient Safety Audit (QPSA) Services. The original policy development working group and other key stakeholders are currently being reconvened to examine the recommendations of the QPSA audit recommendations in detail; this in turn will support a robust review of the 2010 document. An update will be provided in the future when available. 

A copy of the 2010 HSE policy is available for HSE staff on the HSE Intranet site. (Intranet accessible to HSE Employees only)

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