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.