As a Global Professional Instructor (GPI) it is our job to provide the highest quality training to our delegates as possible, whatever the course they are attending.

One way we do that, plus meet the Restraint Reduction Network Training Standards, is to meet as a training group once a year to share good practice and ensure consistency of delivery across all our GPIs.

We have just had our 2023 update week and it was, as ever a great experience as we moved through programmes from our Safety Intervention Foundation course, to Advanced and Emergency programmes and finally our Clinical Holding programme.

Before this week I had never witnessed our Clinical Holding programme before, it had always been done separately, with only those trainers who delivered it working through it together. However in a really good move, this year we all witnessed all the courses.

Medical staff focused

As was explained to us, Clinical Holding is designed for medical staff who may need to administer medication or treatments to patients who may be distressed, confused or willing, yet reluctant, to receive the treatment.

One example that was given to us was a dentist who had a patient who, despite consenting to the dentist administering treatment, would involuntarily punch the dentist in the face whenever they got near the patient in the chair.

The Clinical Holding programme looks to give professionals skills to alleviate instances such as this and help them to do the amazing work more effectivley and was something I’d never really considered before.

As I watched my colleagues demonstrate the different holds of the programme, a sense of de ja vu came over me, I had seen these holds before; but I couldn’t have.

Then it hit me and as it did so did a wave of sadness.

Just over a year ago my mum passed away; a combination of pancreatic cancer, an infection in her liver and then finally a stroke which in the end ultimately caused the end of her life.

The stroke resulted in her becoming disorientated, confused and frustrated in not being able to communicate and, even worse, often in a great deal of pain.

Necessary holding

I remember on two occasions the amazing staff who treated her, had to hold her, on both occasions to administer medicines to alleviate her pain, they were using the holds I was watching now and as I realised this tears started to run down my face and I had to leave the room to compose myself.

The thought that people had to hold my mum because of this upset me. The thought it my have hurt her or caused her more pain or discomfort or agitation got to me. Trauma comes in shapes and sizes and it would appear this was some for me that I was unaware of.

After I composed myself I returned to the room where we all were and I was glad I did, as tough as it was for me, it helped.

I had the holds demonstrated by my colleagues to me as a patient and got to experience and understood how they felt and would have felt for mum.

As my colleagues held me I felt safe and secure, my dignity was considered at all times and at no point did I experience anything which could have caused me pain.

Safety & Security

As much as the sadness was still there as I looked back at that period of my life, having to watch my mum slip away from us, I had a new feeling wash over me as well, one of contentment. Contentment in the knowledge and understanding that in the times when my mum was disorientated, frustrated and angry, none of that was contributed to by the holds that were used to help her.

I can assure anyone who experiences any of the holds in our Clinical Holding programme, either as an observer or patient, that they give you a sense of safety, security and reassurance and that the professional delivering them will have been highly trained.

Finally to my colleagues, thank you, it may not have seemed like a huge deal to any of you, but the demonstrations you gave helped me not just to acquire skills, but also to acquire a peace of mind I didn’t know I needed to find.

If you'd like to know more about our Clinical Holding training or schedule a consultation, see our programme page. For more CPI staff experiences of this programme see this blog from our Director of Training Chris Sheehan.