Violence and overcrowding characterise many mental health wards in England

BMJ 2008; 337 doi: (Published 23 July 2008) Cite this as: BMJ 2008;337:a959
  1. Andrew Cole
  1. 1London

    A comprehensive survey of England’s mental health wards has identified high levels of violence, overcrowding, and impersonal care, and 11 of the 69 trusts surveyed failed to meet minimum standards.

    The health watchdog the Healthcare Commission also found that many detained patients are leaving the wards without permission and putting themselves or others at risk. During a six month period patients were recorded leaving the ward on 2745 occasions for an average of three days.

    The commission examined in detail the performance of 554 mental health wards in England that provide almost 10 000 beds for patients between the ages of 18 and …

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