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Saturday 22 October 2016 Instagram
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Mental health care slammed by CQC

Mental health care slammed by CQC

Mental health hospitals slammed by CQC

Some mental health hospitals use “control and containment” rather than care, a damning report from the Care Quality Commission (CQC) has said. 

At last night’s annual Mental Health Act report, CQC chief executive David Behan said he was concerned that hospitals have “allowed cultures to develop where control and containment are prioritised.” 

He said: “Our report has found too many instances where people have been restricted inappropriately.” 

Behan added that it is “unacceptable” for the situation to continue. 

The CQC noted that some patients detained under the Mental Health Act did not know why they were detained. 

It also found that none of the patients knew what they had to do to be released at one mental health hospital. 

Analysis from the report found that since last year 5% more people were subject to the Mental Health Act.

And the number of people subject to community treatment orders rose by 10% since 2010/2011. 

There were “legal irregularities” in 4% of patient records, which could mean that more than 180 patients were unlawfully detained. 

CQC’s report included information from the Mental Health Minimum Dataset (MHMDS), published by the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC). 

HSCIC chief executive Tim Straughan said: “Without this data it is impossible to fully grasp what is actually happening on the ground – which therefore makes it impossible to address the needs of people in our society. 

“We recognise how valuable our information is to CQC in helping them to monitor use of the Mental Health Act in England.”

CQC maintained that some improvement was made since the last annual report, but services are under pressure from high bed occupancy and increased workloads. 

Policy makers and commissioners have a “responsibility” to make a change in mental health provision, the CQC said. 

Recent changes to the MHMDS could provide a “much richer” dataset to analyse the Mental Health Act, as Nursing in Practice reported earlier this week. 


Having worked in MH services for many years as clinician, commissioner, primary care advisor, and specialist advisor and commissioner - I read this report with interest. Whilst MH services are both an easy target for criticism as well as a poor relation in the wider health care arena (c14% of the NHS budget is spent on MH care yet it accounts for a much greater share of need and demand across the health agenda)there is little doubt some urgent action within MH services is needed.
We need a different kind of commissioning approach from CCGs- one that addresses huge variation in outcomes for people, that apply different standards of care in the absence of a robust NSF successor - the 'New Horizons' guidance offered by the last government was kicked into the long grass quickly and 'No Health without Mental Health' has at best been greeted with lukewarm tokenism. MH care touches us all at any and every point in all of our lives clearly the focus needs to be on the most vulnerable and this report highlights some serious causes for concern for this group of service users however we all have a voice and a view on what the next 10 year MH priority plan should look like - I do hope people respond to this report and offer constructive ideas that can influence policy makers - commissioning key messages must include having and identified MH clinical lead (not necessarily a GP though many will want to hold such a role Im sure)- the clinical lead should make sure they have a good grasp of the local demographic related to MH issues - number of compulsory admissions to thier local mental health admission unit, numbers of incidents of suicide and serious deliberate self harm, neglect, unplanned disengagement from services, how well MH care is being modernised whilst retaining traditional responsive care - there are a few other key actions CCGs should be working on but above all they need to take account of reports like this and be assertive and proactive in rising to the challenge of improving care to people.

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