Monash University Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences
15 May 2018 1 Respondent
By Bill Deans
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Senior Worker (641 XP)
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Are vulnerable people being placed in seclusion rooms due to bed and staff shortages?

Are vulnerable people being placed in seclusion rooms due to bed and staff shortages?

The Mental Welfare Commission for Scotland (2014) define seclusion as  'Locking someone in a room alone, because of their behaviour, is usually referred to as seclusion. The use of seclusion can cause distress and psychological harm and can increase the potential risk of self-harm. It should not be regarded as a therapeutic intervention but it may be necessary as an alternative for managing extremely difficult situations. '


In 2014 Andy McNicoll reported that the Care Quality Commission (England) had taken a London hospital to task for placing people in seclusion rooms due to the lack of beds, not as a consequence of their behaviour. In one case for 5 days. Four years on the media is reporting on an almost a daily basis that the NHS is at breaking point, due to significant financial and staffing issues.


Is this practice still happening in NHS hospitals? Could this also be happening to individuals with challenging behaviour currently being cared for in nursing homes or living in supported accommodation?



What do you think?

Reference: Mental Welfare Commission for Scotland (2014). Good practice guide. The use of exclusion. Edinburgh: MWCScot

It is proposed that a shortage of suitable facilities and appropriately trained staff will result in vulnerable people being placed in seclusion rooms