Recognising and Reducing all Restrictive Practices

Friday 6 January 2023

Restrictive Practices are defined as actions taken by care staff that prevent a person from doing what he or she wishes to do and as a result places limits on a person’s freedom. Restrictive Practices include but are not limited to the use of physical interventions, prescribed medication to manage behaviours of concern, environmental restrictions such as locking a kitchen door or sharps drawer during meal preparation and the use of passive alarms such as monitors placed on an individual’s bed. Not all restrictions – such as locking away hazardous substances - will require elimination but it is important that all restrictions are recognised and are labelled as such. 

It is our responsibility as care providers to ensure that any and all use of restrictive practices, no matter the type, are fully recognised, justified, the least restrictive necessary and are in the best interest of the person they are used for to responsibly uphold an individual’s Human Rights.

At TRFS, as part of our commitment to helping people feel safe and lead their life, we are committed to reducing the use of, and the need for, restrictive practices.  That is why, for the last 8 years, TRFS have been developing a culture of openness and transparency in the use of all restrictive practices by investing in a ‘Restraint Reduction Pathway’.  Our principal aim is to avoid all types of restrictive practices whenever this is safely possible. If a restrictive practice has been identified, then this forms part of an overall Positive Behaviour Support (PBS) Plan and is subject to multi-disciplinary approval and agreement.

Our Restrictive Practice process is underpinned by a Trauma Informed Approach and our staff are supported by our National Restraint Reduction Advisor to undergo multi-tiered training and assessment that makes sure individuals have a Restraint Reduction Action Plan at the point of commencing their support.  Each plan is regularly reviewed, and national data is collated and analysed at board level ensuring leadership and governance further strengthens our processes. 

In 2022 our analysis highlighted:

  • 10 supported individuals’ have had all restrictions permanently removed and recognised as no longer required
  • 63 supported individuals have had no use of any of the restrictions that were noted within their Welfare Guardianship Order
  • 75% of the people we support have had reduced/no use of environmental restrictions such as the locking of doors
  • 55% of people we support have had reductions in the use of medication that was prescribed to manage behaviours of concern.

If you would like more information about our Restraint Reduction process or our Positive Behaviour Support services, please email


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