Comment from Marjorie Wallace, chief executive of the mental health charity SANE, on the Care Quality Commission’s 2009 survey of acute mental health inpatient services:
“This survey paints a bleak picture of life on psychiatric wards, with many patients often left to their own devices, without access to talking or occupational therapies, or worried about their own safety. We are also concerned that so many patients feel excluded from decisions made about their care and treatment – shockingly almost half those surveyed did not have the side effects of their medication properly explained to them.
“At times of crisis people need asylum, in the truest sense of the word. Instead many patients find wards that are rife with aggression, illegal drugs and fear. What both patients and staff need is greater support in fostering those therapeutic relationships and activities that can best aid recovery.”