Mental health patients feel ‘unsafe’ in NHS care


Friday 25th September, 2009

A new report has claimed mental health patients in the UK are being let down in key aspects of hospital care.

The poll carried out by the Care Quality Commission has led to calls from mental health charities for more to be done in acute mental health and inpatient services.

The national survey revealed that a ‘great proportion feel they are being let down in some important aspects of the mental health care they receive.’

Of the 7,500 people surveyed after being discharged from NHS trusts, only half said they ‘always’ felt safe while on the wards with 16 per cent not feeling safe at all.

Barbara Young, CQC chairman, said: ‘This survey gets to the heart of what it means to provide care that meets people’s individual needs.

‘As the care services regulator, we have pledged to ensure that the voices of everyone who uses care services are heard. This survey shows us that there is considerable room for improvement in patients’ experiences of acute inpatient mental health services, and that there remains a particular need to ensure that services are focused on meeting the needs of people as individuals.

‘We will be writing to all the trusts covered by the survey to underline the findings, and we will continue to push for improvement through our assessment and registration systems.’

Steve Shrubb, director of The Mental Health Network which represents many of the NHS mental health trusts feels more still needs to be done.

‘While overall almost three quarters of patients rate their care as good, very good or excellent, these figures clearly show there is a range of areas requiring improvement,’ he said.

‘These figures will further challenge mental health organisations to address issues around safety, related physical health problems and involvement so that all trusts are up to the standards of the best.’

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