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Restrictive practices in health care

Restrictive practices are potentially harmful non-therapeutic interventions, and their use can be avoided by positive changes to the provision of assessment, treatment, care and support.

The use of restrictive practices must therefore be a last resort, and only used after alternative strategies have failed or there is imminent or actual health or safety risk. In these situations workers with expertise will apply and monitor, and support recovery afterwards, in order to reduce harm.

A flowchart (PDF 85KB) will assist clinicians to minimise the use of restrictive practices.

Minimising Restrictive Practice Policy Framework

SA Health has developed a policy directive (PDF 555KB) which outlines the requirements to act in:

  • minimising or eliminating where possible, the use of restrictive practice
  • practicing safely and lawfully if restraint or seclusion are applied during a period of health care.

Minimising Restrictive Practice Toolkit

Tool 1 - What are restrictive practices, and what types are there?

What are restrictive practices, and what types are there? (PDF 107KB) provides assistance for clinical staff in deciding whether their actions constitute a restrictive practice.

Tool 2 - Reporting and review of incidents – restrictive practices

Reporting and review of incidents – restrictive practices (PDF 108KB) provides an overview of the requirements for reporting and review of incidents where restrictive practices have been used.

Tool 3 - Clinical strategies to minimise the use of restrictive practices

Clinical strategies to minimise the use of restrictive practices (PDF 111KB) is a summary of restraint minimisation strategies and a list of current guidance, for reference by clinicians and clinical educators.

Tool 4 - Safe application of restrictive practices, and recovery

Safe application of restrictive practices, and recovery (PDF 115KB) outlines actions, strategies and considerations to achieve the safest possible outcome for all people, if restraint or seclusion are applied.

Tool 5 - Legal information about restrictive practices

Legal information about restrictive practices (PDF 110KB) provides additional information for clinicians and managers about legal requirements and the guidance that is provided in relevant Acts.

Education and training

Introduction to minimising restrictive practice (eLearning)

This eLearning course is for all SA Health employees who may be required to apply restrictive practices. See the eLearning fact sheet (PDF 121KB) for information.

The course will take approximately 90 minutes to complete.

Access to the course is through the Safety and Quality section of the SA Health intranet.

Contact

Michele Sutherland
Safety and Quality Unit
(08) 8226 6539

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