The use of physical interventions, or restraint, to manage challenging behaviours presented by adults and children with a learning disability, is a matter of considerable concern to professionals, care staff, family members and those responsible for implementing government policy.

After the tragic death of Zoe Fairley, there can be little doubt about the importance of effective organisational policies and good staff training to ensure that the welfare and safety of service users are not put at risk when they are submitted to physical interventions.

Following the publication of Physical Interventions: a policy framework in 1996, the British Institute of Learning Disabilities and the National Autistic Society have been funded by the Department of Health to establish an accreditation scheme for courses that teach physical interventions.

We would like to hear from anyone who provides training on physical interventions or restraint for staff working with adults and children with a learning disability and/or autism. We should also be pleased to receive comments from any individuals or organisations who have received training on the use of physical interventions.

John Harris

Chief executive

British Institute of Learning Disabilities

Wolverhampton Road

Kidderminster

DY10 3PP