“At least 40 people with a profound learning disability or autism have died while admitted to “barbaric” secure hospitals the government has promised to close since 2015, a Sky News investigation has found.” Read full story here→
Most alarmingly, the number of cases of restraint in England rose from 16,660 in 2016 to 28,880 last year, a rise of 73%. NHS England alleges that the increase is explained by better reporting of incidents. [Oh really?] If we believe that, 12,220 cases of restraint went unrecorded in 2016 – 235 per week. Who’s being held to account for that?
And the allegation that health services in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland were unable to provide figures is simply scary.
Sir Stephen Bubb² said that government’s failure to act was putting patients’ lives at risk:
“There are deaths of people in these institutions, some of them unexplained. We know there are significant problems and there will be at some stage another scandal, and yet we know what we need to do.
“The idea that in the 21st century you lock people up, you restrain them, you use prone restraint, you hold them down, I think is disgusting, it is barbaric and it is unacceptable, and it needs to be made unlawful.”
Adapting the words of Greek philosopher, Plato, in the context of mental health & LD:
IGNORANCE, THE ROOT & STEM OF ALL DANGER!
¹ People with illnesses, which we now recognize as schizophrenia, depression, autism, and epilepsy, might all have found themselves in Bedlam.
² Sir Stephen Budd led the work, commissioned by NHS England, to support and enhance existing activity, to ensure thousands of people with a learning disability, who are still stuck in Assessment and Treatment Units, are supported to move back to their local community. The press release about the work with links to the full report is here→