Laura Sharman 23 July 2020

Unsafe mental health wards are a 'disaster waiting to happen'

Unsafe mental health wards are a disaster waiting to happen image

Old and overcrowded mental health wards are putting patients at risk, new research has warned today.

Research by the Royal College of Psychiatrists found a third of clinicians in England feel the quality of mental health buildings has compromised care for patients during the pandemic.

Nearly four out of ten psychiatrists (38%) also say the buildings are unsuitable for safely separating patients with suspected or confirmed COVID-19.

As well as increasing the risk of infection, the research also argued 'unsafe' buildings have contributed to the deterioration of patients' mental health.

The Royal College of Psychiatrists is calling for £3.3bn of ring-fenced funding to improve mental health facilities at the next spending review.

Dr Michael Holland, medical director at South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust, said: 'Old and overcrowded buildings are simply not fit for infection control and the danger of cross infection is very high. Our patients are seriously mentally ill people who need to be treated in hospital, yet we were constantly having to make the judgement – where would it be safer for them to be? On a ward struggling to manage Covid cross infection or back at home where their mental state might get worse?

'Time and time again mental health has been completely left out of the hospital rebuilding programme. We can’t keep treating people with mental illness as second-class citizens.'

Making marginal gains image

Making marginal gains

Ian Nicol explains how making a small change can make a significant difference when it comes to reducing carbon emissions.
SIGN UP
For your free daily news bulletin
Highways jobs

Head of Performance & Business Intelligence

Newham London Borough Council
£86,000 per annum
Newham is a vibrant, diverse and aspirational place, one of the youngest boroughs in London. Newham, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Newham London Borough Council

SEN Teacher

North Yorkshire County Council
£27,741 - £30,451 per annum pro rata + relocation support
We have a new exciting opportunity for someone to make a significant contribution to our post 16 learning provision. Selby, North Yorkshire
Recuriter: North Yorkshire County Council

Head of Digital Data & Digital Democracy

Newham London Borough Council
£86,000 per annum
HELP US BUILD A BETTER AND BRIGHTER FUTURE Newham, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Newham London Borough Council

Head of Service Design & Insight

Newham London Borough Council
£86,000 per annum
Newham is a vibrant, diverse and aspirational place, one of the youngest boroughs in London Newham, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Newham London Borough Council

Business Support Assistant

City of York Council
£18,865 - £20,013 per annum
We are looking to appoint an enthusiastic individual to work within the Business Support Payroll and Pensions Team. York, North Yorkshire
Recuriter: City of York Council

Public Property

Latest issue - Public Property News

This issue of Public Property examines how how flexible workspaces can lead the way in regeneration for local authorities, Why local authority intervention is key to successful urban regeneration schemes and if the Government’s challenge of embracing beauty is an opportunity for communities.

The March issue also takes a closer look at Blackburn with Darwen Council's first digital health hub to help people gain control over health and care services.

Register for your free digital issue