Unite calls for an end to face down restraint

Unite calls for an end to face down restraint

19 June 2013

Alternative methods to face down restraint need to be adopted by the NHS as a matter of urgency, says Unite, the country’s largest union.

Unite professional officer Dave Munday said: “The government and NHS England must act to end this practice. It continues to be a national scandal that the recommendations from the Bennett enquiry 15 years ago are still not implemented.

"As part of government action, it is critical that appropriate support, training and resources go to frontline mental health nurses and their colleagues who are under increasing pressure to deliver a compassionate service.

“This is at a time when the NHS is being ripped apart by service reorganisation and severe budget cuts.

“Alternatives need to be found for the outdated and harsh face down restraint methods.”

Unite, which embraces the Mental Health Nursing Association (MHNA), is backing up this week’s report by mental health charity, Mind.

Unite/MHNA chair George Coxon said: "Many staff are often placed in difficult situations where chronic underfunding and understaffing can lead to pressure and tense atmospheres in wards that can precipitate incidents of acute challenging behaviour and aggressive outbursts by patients.

“Resourcing needs to be included in reviews and particularly in areas of high prevalence – as cited in the Mind report.

"We will be seeking to work with Mind, the government and NHS England to ensure improved care to clients and will continue to support our members to deliver the care that they aspire to."


For further information please contact Dave Munday on 07918 630700 / 

You can find further information about the statement from Mind

  • Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest trade union with 1.425 million members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.