Mind comments on regulation of healthcare professionals
Posted Wednesday 21 February 2007
Mental health charity Mind has welcomed the Government's proposals announced today into the regulation of healthcare professionals following a number of high profile cases of abuse such as the Kerr/Haslam inquiry*.
Mind Chief Executive Paul Farmer said: "Mind has for a long time been calling for robust safeguards for mental health patients, particularly on inpatient wards. For too long vulnerable people have been open to violent and sexual abuse and have been let down by flawed reporting systems. It is unfortunate that these measures will have come too late for some individuals."
"We are pleased that the Government has for the first time acknowledged that the problem of sexual boundary violations by health workers is more widespread than was generally believed and we welcome their proposals to introduce guidance on preventing transgressions of professional boundaries and sexual behaviour with patients."
"We are also pleased that the Council for Healthcare Regulatory Excellence has been asked to lead a project that will develop detailed guidance for healthcare professionals on how to prevent, detect and investigate allegations of abuse. This is a step in the right direction but we must ensure that it leads to a proper reporting system that will record incidents of abuse in a consistent way and is funded accordingly."
Note to Editors:
*The Kerr/Haslam inquiry, which investigated the failure to investigate nearly 50 complaints of sexual abuse by two North Yorkshire psychiatrists William Kerr and Michael Haslam between 1965 and 1989, highlighted the worrying prevalence of sexual abuse in mental health accommodation and the need for a change to reporting procedures.