“I just wanted to show you our appreciation on the work you provided on behalf of Hillside Secure Children Home. Due to your extensive knowledge and experience you have been able to provide the structured tool that we have been able to embed within our training manual. By medically auditing our Restrictive Physical Intervention techniques, we have ensured the safety and wellbeing of all our children within the limits and guidelines of the law. This hasn’t only satisfied ourselves but also our regulatory bodies. You have also gone over and beyond the support and guidance which sometimes has required a prompt response due to the nature of the children within our care (for example the medical statement and advice you provided for the removal of ligatures). We would just like to say thank you and that we look forward to working with you in the future.” Sian Bibbs/Lisa Pridmore, Neath Port Talbot County Borough Council
“Dr Bleetman is an experienced and respected medical expert who provides clear, succinct, balanced reports and risk assessments in relation to the management of violence and aggression. I first became aware of his work when we were both trustees of the Control & Restraint (General Services) Association. At that time Dr Bleetman, along with his colleague Peter Boatman, provided invaluable advice and support to a number of training organisations. They also made a contribution to the review into the routine use of force in the juvenile justice service, which was commissioned by the UK Government following the death of Gareth Myatt, in 2004. More recently, I have worked with him to improve the quality of training and reduce unnecessary risk, restraint and restriction in health and children’s services. He is always willing to constructively challenge existing practices but also change his own opinion if the balance of evidence changes. He brings a practical, realistic perspective to risk assessment, recognising that there are often no zero risk options. By highlighting the relative medical risks associated with the different scenarios presented to him, he enables providers to consider and select the best available risk reduction measures, paying due regard to the particular circumstances of the service setting concerned.” Bernard Allen B.A, Psy., P.G.C.E., D.A.E.S., M.B.P.S. Training Consultant and Expert Witness
“I have known Tony for almost thirty years, ever since he trained as a police defensive tactics instructor under the late Inspector Peter Boatman. Tony didn’t have to undertake this intensive two week course but he instinctively knew that if he was going to speak with any authority about police use of force then he needed to understand it from the inside-out and from the practitioners’ perspective. He brought a much needed medical expertise to the police when they had to resort to using restraint skills and his diligent methodology has undoubtedly made this intrinsically risky undertaking safer over the years. He has always endeavoured to assist finding better and safer ways for the police to meet their constantly changing new challenges. Throughout this time he has always combined his decades of experience with an openness to new ideas and an inquisitive mindset that always asked: “How can we make this better?” British policing would, without a doubt, be a more dangerous environment without his invaluable expertise and dedication.” Rob Welsford, Police Instructor (retired)
“I initially met Dr Bleetman as a result of a recommendation made to me by the late and great Peter Boatman when I was looking for someone to medically review and assess our training programme. Tony is the only person I will go to for our medical reviews and medical risk assessments for the following reasons: Tony is unique in this field. He is possibly the only medical professional I know who actually understands the different and broad spectrums of operational environments that the physical skills are used in, the value of reporting and the difficulties of training adult learners in skills that they need to have taught to them, such as: the police service, mental health, children’s homes, healthcare settings, educational environment, and this is because he has actually taken part in many of the programmes he reviews. Tony also understands the importance of the demographic differences so his medical reviews and risk assessments will take into consideration the fitness levels of your staff, what the population are that your staff are managing, the impact of the environment they are working in, what’s happened in the last year and where you want to get to. This helps you (and organisations like yours) understand more clearly what you need (as opposed to what you may think you want), which will help you plan for and reduce the risk from any potential foreseeable harm, injury or death that could have possibly occur as a result of your staff using force. This stops you wasting time and money on having someone teaching unnecessary skills and helps your organisation save money in terms of direct costs, by producing a shorter and more efficient training programme, as well as the unreported indirect costs, such as fewer staff off sick due to unnecessary injury, less complaints, less litigation, less legal fees, etc. In addition, by working in partnership with Tony I have been able to go into organisations who are having issues with their current skill set, discuss the issues with the staff and management, identify the skills gap and the solution, produce the necessary paperwork (including the risk assessment), video the technique that has been developed, send that to Tony and get that specific technique medically approved within a day. I wouldn’t go anywhere else for a medical review because I don’t know any other medical professional anywhere who has the knowledge of our industry combined with a broader and in-depth understanding of all of the other factors I have mentioned above.” Mark Dawes, Director, NFPS Ltd.
“I first met Dr Bleetman in 1998, in his capacity as Chief Surgeon for Northants Police, and when he assisted on an Officer Safety train-the-trainer event, which my agency was running. At the time, I worked as the Senior Instructor and policy expert for Use of Force, for the detection wing of HM Customs & Excise. HM Customs Operational Anti-Smuggling Directorate had committed to a fundamental change in its cultural and technical approach to arrest and restraint training. Tony became a highly valued and influential advocate for greater awareness amongst frontline staff, and their strategic leaders, of the injury implications and impacts of arrest and restraint techniques on both the officer and subject. He provided robust models for forensic evidence collecting, when diagnosing use of force incidents, and provided operational staff and managers with a far better understanding of the medical implications of dynamic skills in both training and operational environments. His tireless support of the training and policy development to HMC&E, which endured throughout the ultimate evolution of UK Border Force, delivered much needed and timely influence on a rapidly transforming organisation. The scope and scale of his contributions to this discrete but highly impactive aspect of law enforcement cannot be overstated.” A Kirk, Senior Assurance Manager – Home Office (retired).