COVID-19: the safe and legal use of restraint and seclusion in mental health and learning disability services during the Coronavirus period

NORTHERN IRELAND. Department of Health
Northern Ireland. Department of Health
Publication year:
Place of publication:

This guidance sets out key messages in relation to restraint and seclusion in mental health and learning disability services in Northern Ireland during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The guidance covers the management of restrictive interventions in the COVID-19 outbreak period; seclusion in mental health and learning disability inpatient services; types of restraints; public health advice around social distancing, shielding and isolation, and associated legalities for mental health and learning disability services; blanket restrictions; and the use of Personal Protective Equipment. The core principle underpinning the guidance recommends that in making any decision regarding the use of restraint, seclusion or restrictive practices, the proposed intervention must always be the least restrictive option available, considered to be in the person’s best interests with the aim of preventing harm, and proportionate to the likelihood and seriousness of that harm. The guidance includes links to additional resources. Restraint and seclusion in other settings than mental health and learning disability services are not covered in this guidance. (Edited publisher abstract)

Subject terms:
restraint, physical restraint, severe mental health problems, severe learning disabilities, intervention, mental health care, Covid-19;
Content types:
practice guidance, government publication
Northern Ireland
Register/Log in to view this resource

Key to icons

  • Free resource Free resource
  • Journal article Journal article
  • Book Book
  • Digital media Digital media
  • Journal Journal

Give us your feedback

Social Care Online continues to be developed in response to user feedback.

Contact us with your comments and for any problems using the website.

Sign up/login for more

Register/login to access resource links, advanced search and email alerts