Use of Physical and/or Mechanical Restraint during Road-based Transportation of Mental Health Patients Policy

Applicable to: Transport Officers employed by Transport Providers, contracted by the Department of Health, executing transport orders made under the MHA 2014 (i.e. Transport Order (Form 4A) and Apprehension and Return Order (Form 7D)) on consumers to or from WA health system public health facilities via road-based transport.

Description: The purpose of this policy is to provide guidance to Transport Officers executing transport orders made under the Mental Health Act 2014 (MHA 2014) when the use of physical and/or mechanical restraint for mental health consumers during road-based transportation may be required.

The use of restraint should always be viewed as a temporary measure and be limited to those situations where de-escalation and other non-physical diversion techniques have failed to resolve the situation. It is well-established that consumers can be traumatised or re-traumatised through the use of restrictive practices and that there is an increased risk of harm to consumers, as well as to staff who use these practices.

The reduction and, where possible, elimination of restrictive practices in mental health services, is endorsed by the Australian Health Ministers' Advisory Council, as a national priority. Accordingly, providers of road-based transport executing transport orders under the MHA 2014 must aim to reduce and, where possible, eliminate the use of restrictive practices. To achieve this, a person-centred, recovery-oriented, culturally competent and trauma-informed approach must be used to reduce the need for the use of restrictive practices during transport, as well as to maximise consumer and staff member safety. 

This Policy is a mandatory requirement under the Mental Health Policy Framework pursuant to section 26(2)(a) and (c) of the Health Services Act 2016. It is to be read in conjunction with MP 0063/17 Requesting Road-Based Transport for Mental Health Patients Subject to Transport Orders.

This Policy supersedes MP 0060/17 Use of Physical and/or Mechanical Restraint during Road-based Transportation of Mental Health Patients Policy.

Date of effect: 30 June 2021

Policy Framework

Supersedes