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The practice of physical restraint in the UK


To give an overview of coercive measures in the UK and present data relating to coercive measures in the Wrexham Maelor Hospital in Wales.


Audit data presentation and overview.


Coercion in the UK is primarily done by control and restraint procedures, which may lead to the application of medication (chemical restraint). Mechanical restraint is not used at all in adult psychiatry. Overall incidences of coercive measures are less frequent and less long than in equivalent German hospitals.


It is possible to run adult psychiatric wards without long-term mechanical restraint.

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Correspondence to Peter Lepping.

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Open Access This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Lepping, P. The practice of physical restraint in the UK. BMC Psychiatry 7, S61 (2007).

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  • Public Health
  • Physical Restraint
  • Psychiatric Ward
  • German Hospital
  • Audit Data