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Advocacy for In-patients

nickh

nickh

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A good intention at least from the Government (from this week's MHF's e-news)....

>>People who have been sectioned will have a statutory right to an advocate from April 2009, the Government said today.

Health Minister Phil Hope said psychiatric patients would have the right for the first time "to help them through the system".

At Commons question time, Labour's David Drew (Stroud) said: "People who are being sectioned are among the most vulnerable people.

"One of the issues I've always found is the need for advocacy in those situations. I'd like to see the situation where as of right someone who is sectioned has access to an independent advocate - is that something you also aspire to?"

Mr Hope said mental health patients would be able to call on advocates for the first time from next April.

He said: "This builds on the excellent practice that already exists in some parts of the country of non-statutory mental health advocates but from April 1, in a few months' time, they will have a statutory right to such an individual to help them through the system."

Replying to Tory Tim Loughton (Worthing E and Shoreham) about the number of people sectioned in England last year, Mr Hope said there were some 28,100 compulsory admissions to hospital under the Mental Health Act.

There were a further 19,500 detentions in 2007-8 subsequent to informal admission, he added.

Mr Loughton raised concerns about the care of children in psychiatric hospitals.<<

Nick.

He said: "In November 2006, your predecessor gave an undertaking that in two years no child under 16 would be detained in adult psychiatric wards.

"Can you guarantee that that pledge has been fulfilled two years on and also that improvements have been made so that children in appropriate child psychiatric wards are able to access education so that they don't fall behind with their studies during the course of their illness."

Mr Hope said that the latest figures for April to June this year showed that under-16s spent a total of 16 bed days on adult psychiatric wards. This was the lowest level since records began in 2005.

He added: "I will certainly take away your comments about the education of young people in these settings."
 
Lozzi_1004

Lozzi_1004

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He said: "In November 2006, your predecessor gave an undertaking that in two years no child under 16 would be detained in adult psychiatric wards.

"Can you guarantee that that pledge has been fulfilled two years on and also that improvements have been made so that children in appropriate child psychiatric wards are able to access education so that they don't fall behind with their studies during the course of their illness."

Mr Hope said that the latest figures for April to June this year showed that under-16s spent a total of 16 bed days on adult psychiatric wards. This was the lowest level since records began in 2005.

He added: "I will certainly take away your comments about the education of young people in these settings."
I can see that helping a lot of people having some sort of advocate!! Too little too late, but nevermind. See how it goes at least.

To the bit I quoted, a friend of mine from uni had a son who suffers from bipolar (she was quite a bit older than me and her son will be now 26) and when he was just 17 (the day after his birthday) she and her husband came home from work to find him taking the computer apart and rinsing it out with milk, lemonade and bleach to "stop them watching us" and insisted it would work again once he put it back together. Obviously, alarm bells rang and they took him to Leeds General Infirmary A&E where he was admitted to the pysch ward. The psychiatrist on wanted to have him put in the childs ward as he was under 18 but there was 'no room' and he was put on the adult ward where he saw someone commit suicide in front of him by slitting their wrists and saw 2 people attempt to OD. She was telling me (as I confided in her) that this scarred her son and even though he's not been psychotic or manic since he was put in litium all that still haunts him.

I really do hope the ones who do have to spend time on an adult ward don't have to endure what he had to go through and that stricter measures are put in place.
 
nickh

nickh

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Terrible story Lozzi but I suspect, sadly, that it may be far from unique.

Nick.
 
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