Friday, 14 April 2017

Mental Welfare Commission Adult Acute themed visit report April2017; #HunterWatson response

talk to the hand: MWC
Mental Welfare Commission for Scotland's Adult Acute themed visit report April 2017

"We protect and promote the human rights of people with mental health problems, learning disabilities, dementia and related conditions" p1

My response: No you don't.  There are no human rights guaranteed when a psychiatric inpatient in Scotland.  I can testify to this.

Scottish Sunday Express 5Oct14: Patient locked in cell, no toilet, food, water

Here are a couple of my tweets from yesterday, after reading up to p23 of MWC report then giving up:


Response from Hunter Watson, Mental Health Human Rights Campaigner, 14 April 2017, in Email to MSPs and Others:

"The MWC report makes interesting reading. Among the points to which attention should be paid are the following:

1. The report notes that exercise is to be encouraged since it can benefit both mental and physical health. Yet in some care homes for older people exercise is discouraged. Residents who wish to walk about are deemed to be restless and are liable to be given some form of chemical restraint, often an antipsychotic drug. The administration of this drug to an elderly resident with dementia increases the risk that the resident will die prematurely and so breaches that resident's absolute right to life.

2.  The MWC report fails to acknowledge that some experts believe that compelling involuntary mental health patients to continue taking antipsychotic drugs increases the risk that they will die prematurely whether or not they have dementia.

3.  The MWC report appears to assume that mental health patients who are detained under the provisions of the 2003/2015 Act do not have the right to refuse medication even though they might have the capacity to make a treatment decision. The MWC report, regrettably, ignores the provisions of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, especially to Article 12 of that binding international human rights treaty which has been ratified by the UK. A study of Article 12, which guarantees equal recognition before the law, should make it clear that people with mental health problems have the same right to refuse treatment as people with physical health problems.

4.  The MWC report gives the false impression that mental health patients will receive a fair hearing if they appeal to the mental health tribunal. Two matters should be noted in connection with this apparent assumption:
  (a) Forced treatment normally begins before an appeal can be made to the Tribunal.
  (b) Mental health tribunals are not impartial since their findings are based almost exclusively on the evidence provided by the responsible medical officer. Hence mental health tribunals do not provide the fair hearing required by Article 6 of the European Convention on Human Rights.

5. The MWC report correctly notes that all people have an absolute right not to be subjected to inhuman or degrading treatment. It is to be regretted, therefore, that the MWC did not investigate whether any of the mental health patients that came within the scope of its survey had been subject to such treatment. When carrying out this investigation it should have taken account of the ruling of the European Court of Human Rights in the 2012 case of Gorobet v Moldova (para 52): forced treatment which had not been shown to be a medical necessity could amount at least to degrading treatment within the meaning of Article 3 of the Convention. I personally am aware of treatment which belongs in this prohibited category and have written about it in some my papers.

     The MWC is to be commended for carrying out several worthwhile investigations. But its findings would be even more worthwhile if it paid greater heed to human rights issues and to the reality of the dreadful experiences of some involuntary mental health patients. It is to be hoped that the Scottish Government can be persuaded to do this."


'Staff shortages blamed for leaving mental health patients in fear': Helen McArdle, Herald Scotland 13 April 2017:


"A review of 47 mental health wards across Scotland found that one in five patients feel unsafe during the night on hospital "due to reduced staffing levels", with one patient telling inspectors they had "put a chair against my door because of the violence and the shortage of staff". Another patient complained that the atmosphere could be "quite frightening" due to patients with drug and alcohol problems, swearing and talking past midnight on mobile phones. 

The report, published today [Thu] by the Mental Welfare Commission for Scotland, said safety was a "significant issue" for women in particular, with 28 on mixed wards saying they had felt unsafe compared to only two men. Only four of the 47 wards visited were single sex. ...."

"Scottish Labour Inequalities spokeswoman Monica Lennon MSP said: "No one should be made to feel unsafe or be subjected to sexual remarks, especially not vulnerable patients in our hospitals."


More of my tweets this morning:

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