Psychiatric services are “a broken system”
The government has announced new legislation to reform mental health care. It will introduce a new Mental Health Bill to transform mental health care, following publication of the final report from the Independent Review of the Mental Health Act 1983.
Responding to the independent review of the Mental Health Act published today, Marjorie Wallace, Chief Executive of SANE, says:
“The need for this review springs directly from the fact that psychiatric services are a broken system. More than half of mental health patients in hospital today are detained under section compared with less than 10% thirty years ago, a disproportionate number from black and other ethnic minorities.
“One reason for this is the continuing, relentless closure of psychiatric beds, which means some doctors can only obtain the care and treatment their patients need by having them sectioned and deprived of their liberty.
“Shockingly, those who have been detained report appalling experiences, with acute psychiatric wards so squalid and threatening that they refuse to be readmitted unless forced to do so.
“SANE hopes these recommendations might lead to more therapeutic conditions on existing wards, the creation of new safe places so that the police never need to use cells, and patients being supported when they are at highest risk after discharge. Inpatient treatment needs to be a positive experience, not a punishment.”