Intended for healthcare professionals


Locking wards has no place in psychiatric rehabilitation, says royal college

BMJ 2018; 363 doi: (Published 14 December 2018) Cite this as: BMJ 2018;363:k5294
  1. Jacqui Thornton
  1. London

The Royal College of Psychiatrists has said that it is increasingly concerned about the use of locked rehabilitation wards for people with serious mental health problems, which were stopping them getting better as quickly as possible.

Last week an independent review of the Mental Health Act found that in 2017-18 some 49 551 people in England and Wales were detained under the legislation and that the average cost of each detention has been estimated at £18 315 (€20 400; $23 200), totalling more than £900m a year.1 It recommended major investment in community services to prevent patients reaching a crisis and to support them outside hospital, and bringing dilapidated specialist inpatient mental health hospitals up …

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