A MENTAL health trust has been criticised for having some of the highest use of physical restraint against vulnerable people in the country.
Shocking new figures revealed the 5 Boroughs Partnership Foundation NHS Trust, which serves St Helens, recorded 1,415 incidents of physical restraint in 2011-12, more than one in eight of all cases recorded in the North West.
Nearly 2,000 patients experienced physical restraint, compared to an average in England of 247, with 169 incidents resulting in injury.
There were 385 incidents of people being forcibly held down in order to give them medication.
Merseyside Police were involving in restraining patients with mental health issues on 25 occasions, according to the charity Mind. The number of patients injured or restrained by the 5 Boroughs is higher than most other mental health trusts in England, and Mind has expressed concern at the way vulnerable patients are being treated.
There were 8,550 incidents in the North West in 2011-12, including 271 face down restraints.
A spokesman for the 5 Boroughs said: “The care and safety of our patients and staff is our top priority. We actively encourages staff to report all incidents.”