Tuesday, 6 January 2015

Herald article 'Watchdog boss calls for more mental health staff to cope with crisis' and my comment

'Watchdog boss calls for more mental health staff to cope with crisis' Herald Scotland, Monday 5 January 2015:

"MENTAL health services are struggling to cope amid an increase in the number of vulnerable patients being detained in hospital, according to the head of a government watchdog.

MSPs have received a detailed briefing on the situation from Colin McKay, chief executive of the Mental Welfare Commission for Scotland, ahead of a debate on the issue tomorrow (tue).

Mr McKay said a national programme is required to recruit and train more of the dedicated staff to avert a growing crisis in the sector ..Read article

My comment:

"As a carer of two family members who were detained under the Mental Health Act in 2012 and 2013, in two different health board areas, I am concerned that the principles of the Act are not being practised appropriately and that safeguards are not safe on every occasion. It is a postcode lottery and depends on whether a health board is implementing the Act properly and monitoring the Act effectively.

It was our experience that Mental Health Officers did not appear to know what the rights of psychiatric patients were and I had to raise complaints about unprofessional behaviour of MHOs, in respect of their disclosing of personal information. In response to my complaint I was told, by a senior social work manager, that it was a "learning point". I got this on more than one occasion.

Surely a professionally trained social worker/MHO on about £35,000 a year should have learned how to do the job when working with vulnerable people in psychiatric settings? I think this is only an excuse for not doing the job right."

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