A leading academic has presented research suggesting that locked wards in psychiatric hospitals may actually raise levels of aggression in inpatients. Delivering the annual Eileen Skellern lecture at London South Bank University on the 2nd of December Professor Len Bowers of City University presented the results of 50,000 responses from questionnaires and interviews with staff, service users and visitors from 130 of the 500 acute psychiatric wards in England. They found that a 'locked-door' policy led to service users feeling frustrated, stigmatised and depressed. It increased the risk of physical aggression to others by 11% and self-harm by 20%. Patients in locked wards were also more likely to refuse medication.
You can read the press release sent out to accompany the lecture at