Since going self-employed and becoming a Trainer, Consultant for myself and as a Freelancer, I’ve been astounded by the complete lack of awareness about not only the Restraint Reduction Network, including the requirements they have now that CQC require compliance and totally unaware of the legal risk they are placing themselves in by essentially telling staff to brush themselves off and get on with it after being injured.
If staff were savvy enough to take their employer to tribunal, they would have a field day for breach of the Health and Safety at Work Act, which requires employers to protect their employee’s (amongst other people) from reasonably foreseeable harm including reasonably foreseeable violence. What we know about risk, is once something has happened for the first time, it is therefore a foreseeable risk that needs to be mitigated against. However this isn’t happening.
I do think that one thing both the RRN and the CQC haven’t done well is ‘marketing’ for want of a better word, that these are now a requirements, but that doesn’t has negate their responsibilities under the Health and Safety at Work, which still astounds me that so many providers are allowing themselves to fall on the wrong side of this well known piece of legislation. But I also think in many ways Health and Safety still is misunderstood – another topic for another blog post.
What has also surprised me is the amount of students in health roles, such as Occupational Therapists and Nurses, who are going into placements where it its likely they were be faced with reasonably foreseeable violence, but do not receive training. I am not a lawyer or a solicitor by any stretch of the imagination, but I’d be hard pressed to decide who would be liable if the student was to become injured during placement, the placement, the university, or both, under both the RRN/CQC requirements and Health and Safety at Work legislation.
And this is not a post encouraging that everyone receive restraint training, as I have explained in a previous post I have lived experience of being restrained, but recognise there is unfortunately sometimes a need to use force to protect yourself and/or others from harm, but the first two days of (an at least) three day course includes the theory staff need to understand behaviour, why it happens and how we can support to avoid triggers etc. Not to mention the fact that an untrained defence response could result in injury both to the staff member and the person being supported, which is why I believe its important that staff receive this vital training, not just because it is their employers responsibility.