patients have no information on side effects of psychiatric medication
by staff reporter
third of mental health service users living in the community are
receiving no information on the side effects of their medication.
A national review of of adult specialist community mental health
services in England also reported that almost a third of service
users do not know who their care co-ordinator is.
However, the reviewers said since the introduction of the government's
national service framework for mental health in 1999 there has been
a “steady improvement” in the range and quality of adult
community mental health services.
The review, carried out by the Healthcare Commission and the Commission
for Social Care Inspection, assessed 174 local implementation teams
around England. The teams are responsible for making sure that the
service framework is administered.
a separate development, the mental health charity Rethink has said
a person diagnosed with mental illness has 10 times less spent on
their care and treatment than a patient with cancer.
charity says the low funding of mental health means people are unable
to access treatment, such as psychological therapies.
month, psychminded.co.uk reported that people in Derbyshire are
having to wait up to three-and-a-half years for psychological therapy.
The government has, however, launched 13 new psychological therapy
centres for people with depression and anxiety around England in
the last year.
has submitted a review of mental health funding by the London School
of Economics to the government.
Rethink's report on mental health funding
26: People wait up to three-and-a-half years for psychological therapy
- figures from Derbyshire Mental Health Trust come at time when
government is promising to increase access to psychological therapies
drugs for good reasons
Louise Pembroke, mental health activist, London
August 12, 2007
So people will get no information [on medication] yet community
treatment orders, which would will force people to take drugs
in the community, are viewed as acceptable.
refuse drugs for good reasons - weight gain, diabetes, cardiac problems,
impaired cognitive functioning, neurological deficits.
cancer patient being offered chemotherapy would be told about all
of the side effects, such as hair loss and nausea and those patients
can refuse it, even if it means dying as a result.
mental health service users are expected to take highly toxic drugs
with horrible effects, little or biased information and to do so
Peter Campbell, mental health activist, Mind
Diamond Champion, 2006, freelance trainer and writer in mental
August 27, 2007
this one third figure is correct, it makes me wonder how many people
are actually in a position to give informed consent to their drug
treatment? Informed consent has never been closely defined - how
much and what quality information do we need to have etc...perhaps
that needs to change?
If you don't
get information, sue
Lemonsky, Expert by Experience,
North London Hub, Mental Health Research Network, Imperial College,
August 28, 2007
you raise an interesting issue. Informed consent is defined in the
of Health's Consent Document
if in a clinical trial of a licensed drug, the research governance
framework says on informed consent that written information is to
be explained thoroughly in an easy to understand way i.e. no jargon
for those in clinical trials. Isn't it then ironic that you have
to be on a clinical trial to get good information on the licensed
drugs you are consenting to? I think it is outrageous that service
users are given little information. Additionally, they also have
little choice or say. Yet, as you Louise point out, if it is chemo
it is explained clearly and they can refuse without the threat of
Service users are also not told that there is an alternative - talking
therapies - to medication. Yet of course this is rationed and scarce.
I get intrusive thoughts and instead of being whacked with an antipsychotic
I am encouraged to find ways to manage better without medication
using diet, exercise, self soothing strategies etc. Yet I know many
who are just given whopping doses of risperidone and similar drugs
and have not been encouraged to explore alternatives or even given
a minimum dose and helped to manage better.
Some people do need medication to keep stable - however that is
no excuse for lack of information and a choice of what is on offer
and approaches like art, dance, movement therapy etc and holistic
Finally, it is the protocol that every PCT has to make sure that
every patient gets a leaflet printed by the drug's manufacturers
with their medication .The pharmacist must then photocopy the original
or get extras from the company. If you don't get a copy - complain.
I was informed by our head of public health in Barnet, Dr Zoe Aslanpour,
that this is audited on every year. As a patient I can sue the PCT
for lack of information.
Name of sender:
John Bosco Mayinja, clinical charge nurse, Lambeth Hospital, London
December 5, 2007
work in an inpatient facility whereby we inform clients about side
effects of medications and how they could be ameliorated. On most
occassions clients do not want to be bothered.
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