11 April 2017
The Mental Welfare Commission today published
a report on its visits to all adult mental health admission wards
The report includes positive and negative findings. It shows a
welcome shift to care that is focused on recovery, and a general
improvement in the physical environment.
But the Commission also found that almost one in five patients
spoken to reported feeling unsafe, particularly at night, and one
in four women expressed concerns about being on a mixed sex
There were more peer support workers - people who have
themselves experienced mental ill health - than on previous visits,
but more needs to be done to promote awareness of their role.
Fewer than half of patients spoken to said they had the
opportunity to exercise, yet many wards said they had access to a
gym or other exercise options.
Alison Thomson, Executive Director (Nursing) at the Commission
"Since our last visit in 2012, we found that progress had been
made in some areas, and we welcome that, but the picture across
Scotland was inconsistent. There were differences in the ways wards
recorded delayed discharges. There was a mixed understanding of
patients rights' amongst staff and patients, and the quality of
care plans was inconsistent.
"While plans need to be improved, we were glad to see a move
towards recovery-based care, which we very much welcome.
"People in mental health admission wards are often at their most
vulnerable, and it was concerning to hear patients tell us they
were worried about their own safety, particularly at night. This
was a particular issue for women on mixed wards."
The Commission has made a series of recommendations for NHS
Boards, and set out the actions it will now take. A copy of the
full report is available here.
Notes to editors
The Commission visited all 47 adult acute mental health
admission wards across Scotland in late 2016.
The Commission's previous such visit took place in 2012, when
the key issues were very poor physical environments on many wards;
patients feeling they had a lack of understanding or involvement in
their care and treatment, and not enough therapeutic activity on
Mary Mowat: 0131 313 8786