mental health patients praise care
by Chris George
This article was edited on Sept 30 to correct a factual
More than seven
in 10 mental health inpatients rate their care as good or better
This is according to the first ever large-scale survey of NHS psychiatric
Interviews were carried out on 7,500 patients recently discharged
from 64 NHS trusts across England.
published last week, was by the Care Quality Commission, responsible
for regulating health and social care.
A total of 73% of patients said their care during their most recent
mental health hospital stay was good, very good or excellent; 16%
said it was fair, but more than one in ten (12%) said it was poor.
The survey contains valuable information on how mental health inpatients
view their care and treatment.
Among the findings were:
* 92% of patients did not share a room or bay with a patient of
* Only 45% said
they always felt safe.
* 13% said their psychiatrist did not listen carefully to them,
and one in five (19%) were not given enough time to talk with their
psychiatrist; 21% of patients stated they did not trust their psychiatrist,
while 17% did not trust nurses. But 69% said their psychiatrist
always treated them with dignity and respect
* Almost half (48%) of patients were not clearly told about possible
side effects of psychiatric medication.
* Although 52% wanted talking therapies only 29% received it.
The commission's questionnaire was given to people who had left
hospital in the previous six months after a stay of at least 48
hours on an acute ward or psychiatric intensive care unit.
Paul Corry, of the mental health charity Rethink, described the
figures as "shocking".
they were applied to people receiving treatment for diabetes, cancer
or heart disease there would be a national outcry," he said.
Phil Hope, the care services minister, said: "It's good news
that 73% of people described their care overall as good, very good
or excellent. "It's
also important to remember that nearly half of the people …
had been detained under the Mental Health Act and had severe mental
health problems, which may have affected how safe they felt. It
is vital they get the care, support and treatment they need,"
Marion Janner of the Star Wards organisation which aims to drive
up standards of acute mental health wards admitted the survey's
findings made “gloomy reading”
She said this
was partly because of the “woeful poverty” of funding
of and political commitment to inpatient care.
Read for yourself:
Care Quality Commission's 2009 survey of
acute mental health inpatients
view will help
Kelly McKeown, psychiatric nurse, private hospital, USA.
November 27, 2009
I believe that those who decry these statistics, especially those
of trust, as "poor" are failing to consider the fact that
many of these patients suffer from paranoia and a very negative
set of moods which color their interpretation of the world.
hospital gathers information from family members as well in order
to provide a more balanced view of our performance.
This could be a useful tool for the NHS to use as well in order
to more accurately evaluate the state of mental health care in the
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