MITUK Statement on Panorama, Undercover Hospital: Patients at Risk

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Our hearts go out to the brave patients and families who took part in BBC Panorama’s report on abuse at the Edenfield Centre. We stand in solidarity and compassion with everyone affected. Everyone watching the programme will have been horrified and angered…. but sadly not surprised. The abuse revealed was indeed dreadful, and we expect robust action, including criminal investigation of the assaults, harassment, violations of the Mental Health Act, inappropriate use of seclusion, and falsification of medical records. We applaud and thank the brave individuals who initially reported this malpractice, the BBC for investigating, but most of all the brave individuals who allowed their experiences to be documented.

We must not let their testimony get forgotten, and we must not allow them to be absorbed without reform back into the system. Because the experiences revealed last night are not unique to this one unit. Abuse such as this is reported as commonplace across the mental health care system.

We join colleagues in calling for a full-scale, public, enquiry into the quality of care, and abuses, across mental health care. It is not good enough to rely on a local clinical review, no matter if that review is described as ‘independent’. NHS England and the Government Department of Health and Social Care must announce immediate plans for an enquiry into this institutional scandal.

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MITUK’s mission is to serve as a catalyst for fundamentally re-thinking theory and practice in the field of mental health in the UK, and promoting positive change. We believe that the current diagnostically-based paradigm of care has comprehensively failed, and that the future lies in non-medical alternatives which explicitly acknowledge the causal role of social and relational conflicts, abuses, adversities and injustices.

1 COMMENT

  1. Thank you MITUK for this statement. The courage demonstrated by the BBC’s investigative reporter and the patients and families subjected to such abuse and contempt must result in a Public, Open and (truly) Independent Enquiry into the abandonment of the precious, basic tenets of caring for patients.
    The Enquiry must also address the multi-systems injuries and Adverse Drug Reactions (ADRs) resulting from
    the cascade of psychotropic, AKATHISIA-inducing drugs these incarcerated souls are often forced to take. No wonder they tried to avoid being injected with and forced to swallow ‘medication’ which adds to their suffering and causes changes in emotions, feelings and behaviours which are misinterpreted as attention seeking behaviour and which may directly cause the patient to become aggressive, violent toward self and/or others. Such ADRs then potentially invite further abuse and contempt from those with a duty of care. These drugs are metabolically toxic, potentially resulting in massive weight gain. They are can induce diabetes. They cause neurological/brain toxicity and on occasion, changes in cranial nerve function (which I have seen ignored).
    These revelations must sicken anyone committed to excellence in medicine and nursing. They are not unique to this unit.
    Captain G. M. Gilbert, Military Psychologist at the Nuremberg Trials observed that his experience lead him to conclude “Evil I think is the absence of empathy”. On that premise, surely this documentary revealed evidence of evil?