The dilemma is familiar to anybody working in the care sector: on the one hand, protecting residents and preventing them from falling out of bed is of paramount importance. On the other hand, individual freedom is a precious commodity which should be restricted as little as possible. Statutory regulations face care staff with a real conundrum; they are responsible for patient well-being and want to curb their freedom as little as possible. A sensitive issue, both ethically and legally. In difficult cases restraint is regarded as the only conceivable means of protecting patients. How can we avoid restraint and yet still protect patients? On the following pages we offer suggestions and solutions that show how the issue of patient safety can be addressed on your ward in the future.