Wednesday, March 25, 2009

New report on women inpatients - still room for improvement

The Mental Health Act Commission has produced a report into the experiences of women detained under mental-health legislation. The Commission visited more than 2,000 wards and surveyed 6,000 patients in 2007/8. The most significant issue raised by the report was women's feelings of being unsafe, relating to the continued use of mixed-sex accomodation. Some women were fearful of physical and sexual violence and complained of sexual harassment, verbal intimidation and the use of inappropriate language. The chief executive of the Mental Health Act Commission, Gemma Pearce, said "Many services are providing very good care which is sensitive to issues of privacy and dignity, and ensures and promotes the safety of women (and men) at a time of vulnerability. But we also found services which are not meeting the particular needs of women, including basic assurances of their rights to safety, privacy and dignity."

You can download the full Mental Health Act Commission report at

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