Policy paper

Helping health and care services manage difficult patient behaviour

New advice for staff on the use of restrictive interventions for patients with difficult behaviour.

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

Applies to England



There are a range of different approaches that limit an individual’s movement, liberty and/or freedom to act independently. These are called restrictive interventions.

This document provides guidance for adult health and social care staff to develop a culture where restrictive interventions are only ever used as a last resort.

The report identifies actions that will improve people’s quality of life which should then reduce the need for restrictive interventions. It sets out ways to know who is responsible for making these improvements, including effective governance, transparency and monitoring.

The guidance is for commissioners of services, executive directors, frontline staff and all those who care for and support people.

Published 3 April 2014