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Government calls for items not suitable for people with dementia to be removed from sale

The Government’s Challenge on Dementia 2020 sets out their ambition to be the best country in the world for people with dementia to live in. A key part of that vision is for those individuals to receive meaningful care, allowing them to live as well as possible with dementia.

Earlier this year, it came to the Government’s attention that items labelled as ‘dementia restraints’ were for sale on some online retail platforms. A petition was launched, and there was concern in the media, social media and in Parliament.

Although there are no legal restrictions on these specific items, Government is asking you to voluntarily remove them from sale, to minimise the risk of harm to people living with dementia.

There is a robust legal framework relating to the use of restrictive practices, including the Human Rights Act 2008, Mental Health Act 1983, and the Mental Capacity Act 2005. Restrictive interventions should only be used in line with the legal framework, and by people with the appropriate training in the application of those practices, where there is a real possibility of harm to the person or to staff, the public or other. Therefore, individuals may purchase and use these items to inappropriately restrain people with dementia, without the correct training or legal context.

Therefore, Government are working with one of their key partners, the Alzheimer’s Society, to engage with online retailers to move to voluntarily remove these items from their platforms, and to no longer describe them as suitable for use on people living with dementia.

Government is asking that you review your online platform to identify items described as dementia restraints, and voluntarily remove them from sale.

We know that you would wish to minimise the risk of potential harm and misuse of products and therefore hope that you will be supportive of this work.

Bira supports this initiative and asks that if you are selling these items, you voluntarily follow Governments instructions to help people living with dementia.

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