Mental health services being left behind, according to new report
Posted Tuesday 29 March 2011
Mental health care services in England are falling short, according to the latest report on the state of healthcare and adult social care released today (Tuesday 29 March) by The Care Quality Commission 1.
Responding to the results, Mind’s Chief Executive Paul Farmer said:
It is disappointing to see that, while there have been recent advances in health and social care services across the board, care standards for people experiencing mental health problems are being left behind. These findings reinforce the importance of patient involvement and choice being at the heart of the new cross-government mental health strategy so that mental health has a ‘parity of esteem’ with physical health, finally giving the issue the equal footing it deserves.
While the report shows that many people have greater control over their care, it is clear that the involvement of mental health patients in the planning of their treatment is patchy, with wide geographical variations.
We are deeply concerned at the findings that many detained patients have been certified as consenting to treatment despite apparently refusing to give consent or lacking capacity to do so. It is also worrying that many voluntary psychiatric patients are treated in locked wards, depriving them of their liberty and removing their control over their care package.
Overcrowding on psychiatric wards continues to be an issue with only 1 in 5 wards currently meeting the Royal College of Psychiatrists’ recommended occupancy target, and nearly a third of wards over-occupied, leading to a wide discrepancy in the quality and safety of care for patients.
The report also highlights the continued over-representation of some Black and Minority Ethnic Groups in the total number of patients detained in hospital, or subject to community treatment orders, under the Mental Health Act. This discrepancy, which hasn’t materially altered since 2005, requires urgent attention to address this distressing imbalance.
We do know that there are examples of positive practice and are encouraged at the positive reports that community mental health service users have given to their contact with staff, with a large majority feeling that they are listened to and that their views on care packages are being taken into account. This user involvement can help to deliver a bespoke care plan that can aid treatment and recovery.
Notes to editors:
- Mind is the leading mental health charity in England and Wales. We work to create a better life for everyone with experience of mental distress. www.mind.org.uk
- For more information, interviews or case studies please contact the Mind media team on T: 020 8522 1743 M: 07850 788514 E: firstname.lastname@example.org ISDN line available: 020 8221 0817
- Please note that Mind is not an acronym and should be set in title case.