Legal implications of restrictive physical interventions in people with dementia
Louisa Jackman Associate lecturer, Newcastle University, Newcastle upon Tyne
Charlotte Emmett Senior law lecturer, Northumbria University, Newcastle upon Tyne
Tom Sharp Assistant psychologist, Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust, Newcastle upon Tyne
Joanna Marshall Principal clinical psychologist, Tees, Esk and Wear Valleys NHS Foundation Trust, County Durham
Using a case study, Louisa Jackman and colleagues examine the rights and responsibilities of staff in care homes
Dementia care environments are now home to thousands of people who have complex mental and physical health needs. Many of these people have lost capacity or have fluctuating capacity to make decisions about their care. There can be times when restrictive physical interventions are necessary to protect a person’s wellbeing and to administer required treatment and care. However, nurses working in care settings may not be aware of their rights and liabilities, and those of care staff, when such interventions are used for therapeutic purposes.
This article seeks to address areas of uncertainty and clarify the legal responsibilities of care teams by exploring the issues raised through a fictitious case vignette.
Nursing Older People. 26, 10, 24-29. doi: 10.7748/nop.26.10.24.e632Correspondence
This article has been subject to double blind peer reviewConflict of interest
Received: 15 August 2014
Accepted: 30 September 2014