Mental health patients seen but not heard
Posted Thursday 24 September 2009
People with mental health problems are being drastically let down by the services that are supposed to treat and care for them according to a report today (Thursday 24 September) by the Care Quality Commission. In the biggest ever survey of mental health patients' experiences the results show that people often feel ignored, uninformed about their care and at times feel unsafe.
Commenting on these findings, Mind's Chief Executive Paul Farmer said:
"We are pleased that patients with mental health problems have finally been able to have their say on their treatment and care but the results are now in and the verdict is not good. Whilst we know that in some hospitals the right package of care is being provided provision remains patchy and inconsistent and a number of inpatients are being short changed. Many people report feeling let down and even more alarming is the fact that many feel unsafe. We urgently need to tackle the climate of fear that still exists on some wards; after all these are environments that should aid not hinder recovery.
"We already know that there is a fundamental problem with communication between staff and inpatients, with the latter feeling ill-informed about their rights and the side effects of treatments. This gulf in communication leaves patients feeling anxious, frightened, isolated and impedes their recovery. Whereas, involving individuals in decisions, listening to what they want and furnishing them with information provides patients with a sense of reassurance and empowerment which can go a long way towards improving their chances of a good recovery.
"There is also a worrying disparity between the number of respondents who said they had wanted access to talking therapies and those who actually received them. Therapies such as counselling and psychotherapy can be a very effective and can work well in conjunction with medication so it's disappointing that patients treatment preferences are being ignored.
"We urge the Care Quality Commission to use all of its powers to push for improvements and to hold NHS Trusts to account that persistently let patients down."
You can read more about the Care Quality Commission report on their website.