Re: The Guardian’s Report on Locked Mental Health Rehabilitation Wards – A Patient’s Experience

The Guardian has published an article about locked mental health rehabilitation wards that has a lot of interesting figures in and some perspectives on the purpose and morality of wards such as these existing.

This article and the figures within need to be looked at with balance and with regards to whether each ward does in fact provide rehabilitation services. I am currently on a locked rehabilitation ward – I have been for 8 months and will be for around another year (informally, which the article claims is not possible) – but this ward offers intensive therapy in a setting that has helped me become stable and well enough to finally work on recovery. Before here I was in a 24 hour unlocked placement that proved to offer a very high risk to my life, as well as not offering the therapeutic help/treatment needed for me to stabilise or make progress. Without the treatment I’m receiving in the setting here, I can confidently say that I would not have made the progress that I have, wouldn’t have the potential to become fully rehabilitated that I am starting to hope for, and possibly would not be alive.

There are certainly cases where people are kept on such wards inappropriately, but this is often down to the individual hospital or private groups running the hospitals focusing more on profit than helping the people in their care (although the hospital I am in is also private and is very clear that it looks to get everyone back out in to the community as soon as they are ready and able, so that also isn’t true for every private hospital) – I suggest that it is the hospitals that are allowed to function in this way that needs to be looked at, alongside the treatment offered within the wards, that need to be looked at rather than claiming that there is no place at all for the only thing that is offering me and others a chance of recovery and life. The CQC’s very bold generalised statement that “We do not consider that this model of care has a place in today’s mental healthcare system.”, alongside the assertion that there can be no focus on recovery, concern me greatly.

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