Intended for healthcare professionals


CQC: Trusts must do more to protect mental health patients from sexual abuse

BMJ 2018; 362 doi: (Published 10 September 2018) Cite this as: BMJ 2018;362:k3865
  1. Jacqui Wise
  1. London

New national guidance is needed to improve the sexual safety of patients in mental health wards, the health and social care regulator for England has said, after finding that distressing sexual incidents were common.

The Care Quality Commission also wants to see a stronger reporting system and more training for staff.1

In its report the CQC said that people admitted to mental health wards included those who were vulnerable to sexual abuse and those who lacked the mental capacity to make informed decisions about sexual relationships. This, combined with overcrowded wards, old and unsuitable buildings, staff shortages, and a lack of basic training, increased the risk of harm to patients and to staff.

The report said that people who …

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