In our July Health Legal Update, we provided a summary of the DH’s interim report into Winterbourne View hospital.

Two key points will be of interest for those working at the coal face.  

Firstly, under the heading of promoting innovation and reducing the use of restraint, the DH are working with the Department for Education, Care Quality Commission and others to drive up standards and promote best practice in the use of positive behavioural support and ensure that physical restraint is only ever used as a last resort. No timeframe is given for this but readers should keep an eye out given that deaths from restraint in mental health units will understandably lead to high profile inquests and media coverage.

Secondly, the Mental Health Act Code of Practice is to be updated by the DH to take account of findings from the UK Modernising Learning Disabilities Nursing Review and to reflect changes in the new health and care system. We will keep readers appraised of developments on this front.