Mental Health – Its going to get worse.

Mental Health patients have a stark choice, if they are deemed capable of making one, and this is between inadequate state provision, and private health care they cannot afford. Just as in infertility in the previous posting. The two tier unofficial system thrives. In addition to which ministers cannot do their maths correctly. Labour’s pretence that the under planning has nothing to do with them is derisory, as the underfunding has been continuous over 10 administrations over 30 years… Communication and cultural identity are essential as well as caring in psychiatry. We must make the new jobs attractive to our own.

Story image for mental health cartoon from Redding Record Searchlight

Peter Yeong in the Times 7th August writes: NHS abuse of mental patients ‘endemic’ – Warning over use of force amid record violence

and in support of this is the report on Connor Sparrowhawk by Jash Holliday  from East Sussex.(The Guardian)

Record levels of violence and abuse against vulnerable patients at mental health trusts were reported last year amid accusations of “endemic” use of force in the NHS.

More than 5,000 serious incidents involving both children and adults were investigated, including hundreds of suicides, dozens of killings, more than 2,000 cases of self-harm and even deaths of children.

The figures, obtained by The Times through freedom of information requests, have shocked a sector reeling from accusations of flawed care after the High Court judge Sir James Munby lambasted the “disgraceful lack of provision” last week for a teenage girl at acute risk of taking her own life.

Most of the serious incidents relate to the quality of treatment and patient safety, and showed:

● More than a thousand complaints relating to care, including delays and use of medications.

 2,170 incidents of self-harm.● 371 suicides.

● 198 confidential information leaks.

● 199 cases of abuse of patients.

The Times has categorised each serious incident report and found that the number involving abuse of patients rose from 106 in 2013-14 to 199 last year. Investigations carried out into abuse of child patients rose from 9 to 39 in a single year. NHS figures show that 103,027 people spent time in specialist mental health treatment in 2015-16.

Norman Lamb, the former Liberal Democrat health minister, said that force was used “far too much” in mental health treatment.

He added: “It’s just intolerable — the trusts need to be accountable. The use of physical force is endemic in the system. Abuse of patients, on the face of it, can be characterised as gross misconduct. The system is under an impossible strain and it shows that we’re not providing enough resources to good, preventive care.”

Approximately a quarter of people in Britain will experience a mental health problem every year, according to the mental health charity Sane. In the first official estimate of its kind, the children’s commissioner for England has said that more than 800,000 children have mental health problems.

Anne Longfield, the commissioner, said that the experience of child patients in mental health services is of “rattling around a system that feels completely incoherent”.

Expressing particular concern over the number of child deaths, of which there have been more than 100 since 2011-12, she added: “One of the ways that these children are being let down is that as professionals we are not demonstrating the right levels of curiosity and determination about their treatment.

“I don’t think the government is moving fast enough on this, showing enough determination on this or indeed putting enough money into this.”

The figures from NHS England in 2015-16 met the serious incident guidance, meaning that they are significant enough to warrant an investigation, outlined by the health service’s regulator. NHS bodies must investigate all “adverse events, where the consequences to patients, families and carers, staff or organisations are so significant . . . that a heightened level of response is justified”.

Luciana Berger, MP, president of the Labour campaign for mental health and a member of the health select committee, called the figures staggering and said that they should serve as a wake-up call for ministers.

The serious incident reporting guidance has been updated twice since 2013 to transfer monitoring powers to clinical commissioning groups and NHS England after the closure of the strategic health authorities and primary care trusts and to amend incident categories.

A spokesman for NHS Improvement said: “We are looking at ways to transform mental health services, tackle the stigma attached and establish a way of working that can support the mental health workforce.”

A Department of Health spokesman said: “If there are serious incidents where patient safety has been put at risk, we expect mental health trusts to investigate immediately. Serious incidents remain rare across the NHS and our guidance makes clear restraint should only be used as a last resort.”


When will public anger over the NHS reach a political tipping point? More NHS mental health patients treated privately…Mental health recruitment plan ‘does not add up’, nurses say

Sky News 31st July 2017: The Government says it wants create 21,000 new jobs, but the nursing union questions how the target can be met by 2021.

The Guardian 6th Dec 2016: The government is breaking promises on child mental health

This entry was posted in A Personal View, Rationing, Stories in the Media on by .

About Roger Burns - retired GP

I am a retired GP and medical educator. I have supported patient participation throughout my career, and my practice, St Thomas; Surgery, has had a longstanding and active Patient Participation Group (PPG). I support the idea of Community Health Councils, although I feel they should be funded at arms length from government. I have taught GP trainees for 30 years, and been a Programme Director for GP training in Pembrokeshire 20 years. I served on the Pembrokeshire LHG and LHB for a total of 10 years. I completed an MBA in 1996, and I along with most others, never had an exit interview from any job in the NHS! I completed an MBA in 1996, and was a runner up for the Adam Smith prize for economy and efficiency in government in that year. This was owing to a suggestion (St Thomas' Mutual) that practices had incentives for saving by being allowed to buy rationed out services in the following year.

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