MORE than 3,000 incidents of restraint involving patients were recorded at the main mental health organisation in the county, new figures have revealed.

A total of 3,047 incidents of restraint were recorded in mental health units at Lancashire Care Foundation Trust in 2016/17.

Restraint used by staff included physical/manual restraint, seclusion and rapid tranqulisation.

There were also 33 injuries to staff working in the Mental Health Trust recorded, according to figures obtained under Freedom of Information laws by The Crisis Prevention Institute (CPI), which leads training programmes to help healthcare professionals.

Alison Cobb, a senior policy and campaigns officer at Mind, the mental health charity, said physical restraint should only be used as the ‘last resort.’

“Physical restraint should only be used as the last resort, when there is no other way of de-escalating a situation where someone may harm themselves or others,” she said.

Martyn Dadds, the CPI’s managing director, said: “Worrying levels of restraint are still taking place, with resulting injuries, despite years of government recommendations designed to reduce these practices. “It’s critical that staff are properly trained and that NHS trusts have adequate policies in place to ensure that the most vulnerable members of society, as well as staff, are protected.”

A spokesman for Lancashire Care said restraint to manage aggressive behaviour is implemented as a ‘last resort and never as a matter of course.’

The spokesman said: “It is used in an emergency when there is a strong possibility that harm will occur if no intervention is made.

“We do not support the use of intentional prone restraint which is recognised as the position causing most harm, our staff are only able to use the restraint techniques taught by the trust.”