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The use of force in mental health units – have your say

The Government is asking for your views in a new consultation to help prevent the inappropriate use of force in mental health units. 

Have you spent time in a mental health unit? The Government is asking for your views in a new consultation to help prevent the inappropriate use of force in mental health units.

They want to know if a new law around the use of force in mental health units, which was brought into effect in 2018, has been effective.

People can share their views in an online questionnaire, this closes at midday on 17 August.

The Mental Health Units (Use of Force) Act became law in November 2018. The aim of the Act and the statutory guidance is to:

     • clearly set out the measures that are needed to both prevent the inappropriate use of force

     • ensure accountability and transparency about the use of force in mental health units

The use of force includes:

      • physical, mechanical or chemical restraint of a patient

      • the isolation of a patient, including seclusion and segregation

Sue Forber, Director of Services at Solent Mind, said: “The statutory guidance is intended for use by hospitals in England providing mental health care and treatment.

“It will provide the information they need about how they should meet the legal obligations placed on them by the Act, in addition to best practice advice.

“We believe it’s important for people who have had lived experience of restraint or isolation while in an inpatient mental health setting to come forward and share their experiences – so that their voice can be heard.”

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