BMH UK welcomes CQC report on Mental Health Act and calls for focus on deaths in custody

Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Date: 30 January 2013

The latest annual report on the monitoring of the use of the Mental Health Act yet again shows that people from the UK's African Caribbean communities continue to be subject to forced detention and the Community Treatment Orders in greatest numbers.

Black people also continue to be subject to the most coercive forms of treatment and are more likely to be subject to restraint, subject to high doses of medication and placed in seclusion when in hospital.

This report shows that half the patients detained in hospital are not given a copy of their care plan and a fifth are not informed about their right to an Independent Mental Health Advocate.

BMH UK have seen that Community Treatment Orders have become nothing more than psychiatric Asbos for black Britons, with patients who are placed on them not being given any indication of how or when they will be able to come off them.

BMH UK's director Matilda MacAttram said, welcoming today's report said: 'Findings in this report show that there is a culture in hospitals where containment continues to be prioritised over treatment and care.

It is clear that these draconian practices are hitting black Britons hardest as this reports also shows that black people are up to 13 times more likely to be subject to the Act than their white counterparts.

BMH UK welcome this report drawing attention to the over use of control and containment in psychiatric hospitals, however the issue of black deaths in custody has been completely omitted. Across all detained setting fatalities are highest amongst mental health service users from this community.

Black deaths in custody, like the issue of mental health now touches the lives of almost every family from this community living in the UK. The spate of high profile cases we have seen in recent years means it is an issue that cannot be ignored. BMH UK call upon the CQC to prioritise this issue in next year's Mental Health Act report.'

Click here to read the report in full.


For interviews call BMH UK Newsdesk on 07947 189 682

Notes to the editor

- Black Mental Health UK is a human rights campaigns group established to address the over representation of African Caribbean's within secure psychiatric care and raise awareness to address the stigma associated with mental health.

- Detention rates for people from the UK's African Caribbean community is now up to 13 higher than that of their white counterparts.

- People from the UK's African Caribbean communities do not have higher rates of mental ill health than any other ethnic group .

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