ECC&R promotes professional responsibility and accountability with the use of force in professional practice.

Staff are trusted to always act in the best interests of the patient/service user, to protect the public and do no harm.

Such ethical principles are reflected in professional codes of conduct and in service contracts.

It is therefore essential to balance rights with responsibilities.

As citizens rights cannot be challenged, as professionals

These rights must be applied responsibly.

The consequences of the use of unreasonable force within a care environment are extensive.

A legitimate reason to use force must exist and this must be a reason considered legitimate by law.
A forceful intervention may be justified in the following circumstances
Statutory Authority e.g. Mental Health Act.

Compulsory Care or Treatment Orders.

Prevention of a crime e.g. assault.

Necessity common law principle applied in best interests.

Physical force must never be used for:-




To teach people a lesson.
Potential consequences of UNREASONABLE use of force
Disciplinary action.

Professional misconduct hearing.


Personal moral accountability.
Legal consequences of unreasonable use of force
Criminal offence e.g. assault.

Breach of Mental Health Act.

Breach of Human Rights Act.

Civil Offence e.g. assault, wrongful detention, negligence.

The consequences of inaction i.e. failure to intervene can also have consequences.

Failure in moral, ethical and legal duty of care.

Civil offence. Negligence.

Criminal offence. Omission amounting to negligence.