England’s mental health care lacks money, yes – but it also lacks compassion

“A series of scandals should focus minds on the punitive conditions far too many patients are confined in”

This article by Jay Watts has been published in The Guardian. It begins:

“We have made great progress in England when it comes to acceptance and knowledge around mental health issues. But have our basic services also improved in tandem? We are told that clinical approaches to mental health are getting better: that the coercive control of the asylum era is over, heralding care in the community; that the blossoming of interest in wellbeing means psychiatric care is no longer the second-class citizen of medicine. But some facts, unfortunately, tell a more harrowing story, reflecting a problem as much with ideology as funding.

In the past few months, scandal after scandal has shone a light on the appalling state of mental health inpatient care (meaning those who have to stay at least one night). First, we had a Panorama investigation into the Edenfield Centre, a secure psychiatric hospital run by the NHS in Manchester, which alleged that vulnerable patients were ridiculed and inappropriately restrained. Then a Dispatches undercover investigation showed wards in Essex where patients appeared to have been cruelly treated, despite repeated inquiries into a series of suicides between 2004 and 2015, hauntingly represented in the ongoing agony of interviewed family members. In the past week, we’ve heard of more than 20 teenagers alleged to have been mistreated in wards managed by the private sector Huntercombe Group, followed by an independent investigation into a Middlesbrough hospital, describing the failures preceding the suicides of three young women …”

You can read more from here.

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