a mental health service in London for paying people to take medication
charity has criticised a mental health service in London for paying
people diagnosed with a severe mental illness to take their medication.
London Community Mental Health Trust said the use of payments has
increased use of medication and cut hospital admissions for some
But critics say the move does did not offer a "real solution"
for improving medication use.
Between 20% and 50% of adults being treated by psychiatric services
are estimated not to take their prescribed medication.
The trust says its assertive outreach programme has, since 2003,
offered five patients of between £5 and £15 per injection
Four accepted, and were found to be more likely to take their drugs
as they should and to stay in independent accommodation, said consultant
psychiatrist Dr Dirk Claassen of East London Community Mental Health
said: "The results in terms of reduced hospital admissions
for the patients who accepted the offer seem beneficial.
"There is no harm intended or caused, the service user can
revoke the offer at any time, and the treatment is generally available."
But mental health charity Rethink's chief executive Paul Jenkins
told the BBC that payments were not a priority for developing services
for people with severe mental illness.
The key issue was the sometimes "devastating" side-effects
of medication, he said.
"The research we have done and the calls we get to our advice
line report people suffering things like significant weight gain,
tiredness, agitation or depression, or physical symptoms like shaking,"
Mr Jenkins added.
"These can affect people's lives very significantly and have
a real impact on their ability to keep to taking their medication."
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