Mersey Care Foundation Trust: Staff Engagement Sessions – No Force First

Mersey Care FT’s “No Force First” scheme attempts to reduce the use of physical restraint on mental health and learning disability inpatients and improve their experience in hospital. The trust recognised that communication was a key part of this process and wanted to appeal to its staff’s hearts rather than minds.

Using “experts by experience” – service users – in training sessions was a way to make staff “want” to change. These sessions focused on the traumatic impact of physical restraint, with the intention of inspiring the staff to utilise different methods, rather than instructing them to do so.

The pilot wards reported 60 per cent reductions in the use of physical interventions over the first two years. As this model spread throughout the trust, it has resulted in 37 per cent reductions in restraint use.

Additionally, assaults on staff have decreased by 46 per cent, which has contributed to financial savings (£249,069 in the secure division in one year alone). Various organisations have demonstrated interest in this scheme, from mental health and learning disability providers in the UK to healthcare agencies from Denmark and Japan. The “No Force First” process was showcased in an event which attracted 29 trusts, third sector and external agencies.

Read a detailed case study about this project at HSJ Solutions  


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