Every psychiatric ward should have a lead consultant, DoH says

BMJ 2002; 324 doi: (Published 04 May 2002) Cite this as: BMJ 2002;324:1058
  1. Lynn Eaton
  1. London

    England's psychiatric wards should have their own dedicated lead consultant, rather than a team of consultants, none of whom has specific responsibility for the way a ward operates, a report out this week from the Department of Health urges.

    The guidance on care of adult acute inpatients, issued this Tuesday, is candid about the poor standards of care in many of the country's psychiatric hospitals.

    In particular, it acknowledges that patients have reported:

    • Poor physical and psychological environments, with poor safety, little privacy, and low levels of comfort

    • Insufficient information for patients on their condition and treatment

    • Lack of involvement of patients in planning and reviewing their own care

    • Inadequate …

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