A group of 40 professionals, researchers, ECT recipients and carers has written to Matt Hancock MP, Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, asking for an independent review into ECT along the lines of the recent Cumberlege report into pelvic meshes. We have also written to our own MPs and have so far had a positive response from 8 of them who have pledged to write to Mr Hancock in support, and table parliamentary questions.
Please do support us if you can by writing to your own MP along these lines, and letting us know what response you get.
This link gives contact details for MPs: https://members.parliament.uk/members/Commons
Dear (Your MP’s name)
Urgent review needed into the practice of Electroconvulsive Therapy (ECT)
A group of 40 mental health professionals, patients and carers has written to Matt Hancock MP, calling for a review into the practice of Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT). Their letter can be found here:
The letter highlights the many similarities with the issues raised in the recent Cumberlege report into pelvic meshes. ECT is given to 2,500 -3,000 patients a year. Many have been left with irreversible brain damage, resulting in severe cognitive difficulties, and a range of other consequences such as visuo-spatial difficulties, seizures, cardiovascular problems, and the loss of precious memories of family, friends and significant personal events. There is no scientific rationale for the use of ECT and no systematic monitoring for adverse effects. Patient voices have been ignored for many years, and redress and rehabilitation are urgently needed. We understand that a new All Party Parliamentary Group is being set up to investigate medical procedures and devices following the Cumberlege report, and we would like them to include ECT in their remit.
A number of your parliamentary colleagues have responded to our request by writing to Matt Hancock, tabling parliamentary questions and so on. So far they are:
- Thangam Debbonnaire, MP for Bristol West
- Catherine West, MP for Hornsey and Wood Green
- Andrew Rosindell, MP for Romford
- Helen Whately, MP for Faversham and mid Kent
- Steve Brine, MP for Winchester
- Jane Hunt, MP for Loughborough
- Harriett Baldwin, MP for West Worcestershire
- Damien Moore, MP for Southport
We have in the past had support from
- Chris Bryant MP for Rhondda
- Barbara Keeley MP for Worsley and Eccles South
National MIND, the leading mental health charity, has agreed to support us and have put a statement on their website: https://www.mind.org.uk/news-campaigns/news/mind-backs-calls-for-a-review-into-the-use-of-electroconvulsive-therapy-ect/ Other organisations backing our call are head injury charity Headway; the Association of Clinical Psychologists UK; the National Counselling Society, Platfform, the Council for Evidence-based Psychiatry, and Psychologists for Social Change Cymru.
Please do let me know if you feel able to support our call for an investigation into this controversial practice, by pledging your support for our campaign, asking Matt Hancock MP for an urgent review, raising the issue in the House of Commons, or by any other means.