The Court has now given its ruling on the cause of death citing the fact that the restraint was a cause - its duration, the techniques used, and the lack of training of the staff involved. The Court accepted all my evidence.
You don't know what you don't know!
The staff did what they thought was the right thing to do. They have now endured the first part of the legal process of having to defend themselves in a court of law. Being 'in the dock' is never an enjoyable experience for any person. Plus they now have to deal with the fact that had they known what they should have known, this person might still have been alive today.
This case highlights common themes that we, at Total Train, see frequently in education, care and custody sectors. Some staff do not receive sufficient training for the level of challenging behaviour with which they are likely to be faced. A basic course is just that - basic. If, for example, your challenging service users have SEND issues staff must be fully aware of how these conditions affect their health and wellbeing during and post intervention. Interventions can be suitably adapted by qualified people, such as Total Train, to ensure there are safe systems of work for both the challenging person and the staff dealing with them who will have their own health issues to consider too.
Total Train's multi-disciplinary approach to managing challenging behaviour through training, consultancy and expert witness services can assist your organisation to provide safe care. We combine the legal and technical use of force aspects with therapeutic and medical models.
We have a range of video briefings on our YouTube channel and one such briefing, concerning the duration of restraints, can be found here.
Joanne Caffrey YouTube: How long can you restrain someone for?
If you are restraining any person it is YOUR responsibility to ensure YOU are competent and that YOU are complying with the law. Failure to do so may leave YOU personally liable to allegations of criminal assault.
Giving Evidence in Court
If you are ever called as a witness or accused in a court case we strongly recommend that you have specific 'giving evidence in court' training and seek assistance concerning how to record your evidence to ensure it is 'court fit'.