A group of 40 professionals, researchers, ECT recipients and carers has written to Matt Hancock MP, Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, and to subsequent holders of this post, 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 20 of them who have pledged to support our request. Dr Rosena Allin Khan, Shadow Minister for Mental Health, is actively supporting our campaign, and has asked two parliamentary questions about the regulation of ECT.
Please do support us if you can by writing to your own MP and editing our template below. Please do get in touch to let us know what response you get.
You can find who your MP is and their contact details by entering your postcode here: https://members.parliament.uk/
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 wrote to the then Health Secretary, Matt Hancock MP in 2020, calling for a review into the practice of Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT).
This letter can be fore online here: https://www.uel.ac.uk/sites/default/files/9130.pdf
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. A Patient Safety Commissioner has now been appointed, in line with Baroness Cumberlege’s recommendations, and we would like her to include a review of ECT in her remit.
About 20 of your parliamentary colleagues have responded to our request by writing to Matt Hancock and subsequent Health Secretaries, tabling parliamentary questions and so on. National MIND, the leading mental health charity, has agreed to support us and has put a statement on their website: https://www.mind.org.uk/news-
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 the Health Secretary for an urgent review, raising the issue in the House of Commons, or by any other means.