The Mental Health Units (Use of Force) Act 2018, also known as Seni’s Law, requires mental healthcare providers to record the use of force as one way to help reduce the use of restraint in mental health units. Currently, there is a public consultation on the statutory guidance that will be used to implement this law, which closes on August 17.
The Act states that use of force does not need to be recorded if the use of force is ‘negligible.’ Whether the use of force is ‘negligible’ is to be determined in accordance with guidance published by the Secretary of State – the guidance that is currently being consulted on.
The Restraint Reduction Network are hosting a webinar that will explore the human rights implications for the use of the term ‘negligible’ in the Act. Can the term ‘negligible’ be defined? This will be an opportunity to hear different perspectives and discuss important implications for the people on whom force is used and the staff who support them who have a duty to record use of force.
We will hear a number of different presentations exploring different perspectives, followed by a panel discussion. We are pleased to welcome:
- Carlyn Miller (Policy & Programmes Manager, British Institute of Human Rights),
- Alexis Quinn (RRN Manager and person with lived experience of restrictive practices)
- Rachel Whittaker (Health and Justice / High Security Hospital Policy Lead, Department of Health and Social Care).
More panelists will be announced shortly. The webinar will be chaired by RRN CEO, Ben Higgins.
The audience will be encouraged to ask questions and make comments on how the guidance should interpret the term ‘negligible’.