We’re still a long way from where we should be in terms of caring for those with mental health problems, and the deficits are not all to be explained away simply by lack of resources as this recent Guardian piece by Denis Campbell indicates. Below is a brief extract: for the full post see link.
A&E staff are often unsympathetic to patients suffering a mental health crisis and judgmental about injuries they have inflicted on themselves, the NHS watchdog has said in a report published on Friday.
Unhelpful attitudes among doctors and nurses towards people having delusions or panic attacks or contemplating suicide compounds their mental distress, the Care Quality Commission (CQC) found.
Widespread failings in the NHS’s response to such patients “result in the most vulnerable people in society being abandoned at a time of crisis”, said the CQC’s deputy chief inspector of hospitals Dr Paul Lelliott.
The behaviour of emergency department staff in particular is “quite shocking”, as they should know much better, added Lelliott..
While some parts of England treat people experiencing a crisis well, “far too many people in crisis have poor experiences due to service responses that fail to meet their needs and lack basic respect, warmth and compassion. This is unsafe, unfair and completely unacceptable,” an inquiry by a CQC team concluded.
Although the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence introduced guidelines for treating people who have self-harmed a decade ago, “many services are still failing to provide a caring, empathetic response when presented with a person who may have harmed themselves”, said Lelliott, who is also a former NHS consultant psychiatrist.
Delays in accessing quick and compassionate help mean that risks to the health of patients undergoing a crisis, including of self-harm, are increased, the CQC warned.
The worrying picture emerged from evidence submitted by more than 1,750 people who had been through a crisis, and inspections of services to help them in 12 areas of England.
Just one in seven (14%) of the patients surveyed said the care they received provided the right response and helped to resolve their mental health crisis. Another 42% said it had helped a bit. But two in five (40%) said the care they had received was not right and had not helped them resolve their crisis.
“This report makes for painful reading, and seems to suggest an upside-down world in which patients feel they get the worst care where they should be getting the best,” said Brian Dow, the director of external affairs at the charity Rethink Mental Illness.
“We need a more sympathetic response: sympathy, understanding and good quality care when a patient walks in the door of A&E, and a sympathetic system where health and social care teams along with charities work in partnership to support the person properly after they are discharged.”