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29 Jun 2023

SANE responds to the rapid review into data on mental health inpatient care

Important findings of an independent review into data on mental health patient safety have been published by the government.

Commenting on the final report and recommendations of the rapid review into data on mental health inpatient settings, Marjorie Wallace, SANE chief executive, said: “It beggars belief that so many cases of appalling care and abuse in mental health settings have been reported yet the findings of this review have only now taken place.

“The pledges to increase the mental health workforce appear to have failed to materialise and prevent the harrowing cases we have seen.

“Every tragedy is a life lost, and a family devastated, yet people are still being left at risk in understaffed units where pleas to help from patients and the concerns from families are not recorded or met with a compassionate response.

“While we know there are many units and professional/dedicated staff who give excellent services, it is saddening to read each year of the number of units that have been downgraded to ‘requires improvement’ and, in some cases, ‘inadequate’, to the point at which entrusting a relative to the psychiatric services could be putting them in danger. Things need to change.

“We hope this rapid review will lead to a rapid improvement and a lasting sea change in the care of people who need protection in places which provide healing not harm and neglect.”

The rapid review was commissioned by ministers to produce recommendations to improve the way data and information is used in relation to patient safety.

The report contains the findings of the review, including a set of recommendations for improvements in the way local and national data is gathered and used to monitor and improve patient safety in mental health inpatient pathways

‘Transparency and accountability’

As part of the government’s commitment to ensuring patients are safe and receive high quality care, the rapid review explored how government can improve the way data and evidence – including complaints, feedback and whistleblowing alerts – is used to identify risks to patient safety.

Minister for Mental Health Maria Caulfield said: “It’s only right mental healthcare facilities meet the highest safety standards and that patients have faith in the care they receive.?

“The publication of the rapid review recognises the importance of transparency and accountability as we continue to improve mental health services across the country.???

“Our ongoing work in response to the review will help Trusts and facilities identify ways to improve and ensure every patient receives safe, exemplary care.”??

Patients and carers

Evidence and views for the rapid review were taken from over 300 experts in mental health inpatient pathways, including carers, nurses, psychiatrists, data experts, clinical directors, and people with recent personal experience of using – or caring for someone who uses – mental health care services.

The review makes recommendations to help improve the way data and evidence is used to monitor safety and improve care so patients and their carers can feel confident in the quality of treatment they’re receiving.

The government says it will issue a response to the recommendations from the rapid review in due course. 

Further reading:

Rapid review into data on mental health inpatient settings: final report and recommendations – GOV.UK (

Future HSSIB investigation to examine mental health inpatient settings (

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