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Mind responds to announcement of series of measures to improve mental health inpatient care

Wednesday, 28 June 2023 Mind

Today the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, the Rt Hon Steve Barclay, announced a series of measures to improve mental health inpatient care.

These included:

  • The publication of a Rapid Review of data on risks to patient safety in inpatient mental health settings and pathways.

  • Turning the independent investigation into failings at the Essex partnership university NHS foundation trust (EPUT) into a statutory inquiry.

  • A national investigation into mental health inpatient care, led by the Healthcare Safety Investigation Branch.

These announcements come following a string of abuse scandals in mental health hospitals and Mind finding that more than 1 in 3 British adults (35 per cent) say they don’t have confidence that a loved one would be safe if they needed hospital mental healthcare.

Sarah Hughes, Chief Executive of Mind, welcomed the news and said:

“This announcement is a crucial step in tackling the serious concerns we have about the state of mental health inpatient care in England. It is testament to the families who have fought for change because of the suffering their loved ones have endured in mental health hospitals. Their tireless campaigning around failures by the Essex Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust (EPUT) has played a key role in putting the Essex inquiry on a statutory footing.

“The string of public scandals in mental health hospitals has shown how often poor care results in deaths. It is right that the rapid review has made an urgent examination of why this is happening and we also welcome today’s announcement of a new investigation to be conducted by the Health Services Safety Investigations Body (HSSIB). We look forward to working with HSSIB to make sure the investigation work will have a focus on the full range of poor experiences we know thousands of people have endured in mental health hospitals, and make sure their voices are at its centre. Many people have told us that mental health hospitals can be cold and frightening places, and no-one who goes to hospital for their mental health deserves to come out more traumatised than when they went in.

“There is a lot of hard work ahead to make sure that today’s commitments to raise the standard of  inpatient mental health care really deliver for people with mental health problems. We now need to see similarly swift action on the Mental Health Bill, which has stalled. Improvements in inpatient care must go hand in hand with strengthening the rights of people who are so unwell that they are detained for treatment.”


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