Containment and care in mental health
Containment is being prioritised over care within some mental health services in the UK. This is one of the outcomes of the Care Quality Commission’s (CQC) Mental Health Act Annual Report, which has claimed mental health services have to improve the care provided to patients in hospitals.
According to the research, greater emphasis needs to be placed on giving care that is based on the needs of the individual, with some hospitals making choices about treatment without patients being involved in the decision-making process.
As part of the study, 4,569 patients subjected to the Mental Health Act were interviewed by the CQC, with 1,546 wards visited to assess the different treatment administered.
One visit revealed none of the interviewees were aware of the details of their care plan, nor did they feel involved in the planning of their treatment.
“In addition, some patients did not have any information about being discharged from hospital, including what they had to do to prove they could be discharged,” the report added.
Commenting on the report, Chartered Psychologist Dr John Hanna said:
“Since the advent of crisis teams and the national reduction in acute bed base, the clientele on acute mental health wards are more typically patients under section, with greater requirement for containment, as less at-risk individuals are now more successfully supported through crisis in the community.
“This has made the challenge service user involvement in care planning all the more considerable. All inpatients should receive therapeutic interventions to help them make sense of their distress, to contextualise and explain the reasons behind their admission and to work collaboratively toward treatment in a less restrictive environment.
“The problems identified by the CQC are often due to an imbalance in staffing and service provision – some services are not working to a biopsychosocial, multidisciplinary model of distress and while providing good medical treatment, they are not sufficiently addressing psychological and psychosocial aspects of care as psychologists and other therapists are very thin on the ground, or not present. Commissioners, and regulatory bodies such as the CQC, need to give greater focus to this imbalance in order for this worrying trend to be reversed.”
Credit : The British Psychological Society is a charity registered in England and Wales, http: //www.bps.org.uk/news/containment-and-care-mental-health>
Read The Report: Mental Health Act Annual Report 2011/12[ http://www.cqc.org.uk/sites/default/files/media/documents/cqc_mentalhealth_2011_12_main_final_web.pdf