Coronavirus doubles deaths in mental health hospitals. How did it get in?

The number of deaths in mental health hospitals has doubled since the same time last year because of the coronavirus. Why?

These are supposed to be very secure facilities.

The number of people visiting them should have fallen because of the lockdown.

And medical professionals should have had the equipment – and the knowledge – to prevent the virus from penetrating as far as the patients.

But out of 106 deaths between March 1 and May 1, 54 were from confirmed or suspected Covid-19 infections.

In the same period last year, 51 people died. So deaths have more than doubled and all but one of the excess deaths were due to the pandemic.

And if you think the problem is limited to mental health hospitals, ask yourself: why is NHS England refusing to admit the number of people with learning disabilities who have died?

The Care Quality Commission has reminded mental health hospital providers that they have a duty of care to vulnerable patients.

It has highlighted its fears over the spread of the virus in secure hospitals and units, and to patients who are under Mental Health Act restrictions in the community.

The CQC will review its information on the deaths to determine what may be driving the deaths and whether other action should be taken.

There are serious human rights questions to be answered:

Deborah Coles, from the charity Inquest, told The Independent: “The refusal to publish the data points to the historical longstanding failure to provide detailed information about deaths of people in the care of the state in mental health and learning disability settings.

“People in closed institutions are completely reliant on others for their care and treatment. At a time of no external scrutiny, because the CQC is not inspecting units and family visits are restricted, there is the ever-present risk of abuse and ill treatment. These organisations have clear human rights obligations and it is unacceptable that there is just no transparency about what is happening.”

She added: “The other key issue is the indirect impact of Covid-19 on therapeutic services, use of restraint, medication and seclusion and self-inflicted deaths. They need to publish more comprehensive data than numbers disaggregated by gender, race, age, provider. Such a dramatic increase in deaths is deeply concerning and we need to understand the context. Data is meaningless without analysis.”

This Writer wants to know if our health providers have a guilty conscience.

Have they deliberately overlooked their duties to ensure that people with mental illnesses and learning disabilities enjoy a decent standard of health?

Let’s be honest with ourselves – if people in authority are trying to hide something, it’s usually because they know they’re responsible.

Lastly: nobody in such a position knowingly fails in their duty of their own accord. Were they acting (or rather, not acting) on orders from the Tory government?

Source: Coronavirus: Deaths in mental health hospitals double as Covid-19 spreads | The Independent

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9 thoughts on “Coronavirus doubles deaths in mental health hospitals. How did it get in?

  1. trev

    Some Mental Health hospitals have a secure unit but also wards that are not highly secure, and some have out-patients who visit the hospital for appointments and/or day therapy. Some mentally ill people live in the community most of the time and may spend a few weeks/months per year in hospital but are otherwise free to come & go (within limits) even including those who have been ‘Sectioned’, though their movements may be restricted and monitored to a certain extent. I knew a man who was diagnosed with Paranoid Schizophrenia and classed as a danger to women who lived most of the time in a very ordinary looking block of flats and was free to come and go during the daytime and evenings but had to be in his flat by 10pm each night when his health worker phoned him, and this man had been ‘Sectioned’ for life but they had no idea where he went or what he was up to during the day. Everyone else living in that block were classed as being dangerously mentally ill. The flats were disgusting and absolutely filthy beyond belief, no cleaners were sent in until the person was detained in hospital for a few weeks/months treatment, then specialist cleaners would blitz the flat. It was an appalling state of affairs and just goes to show the state of mental health care in this country, which is quite shocking. I don’t have much faith in mental health care in the UK. The so-called ‘treatment’ I received was tantamount to psychiatric abuse.

    1. disabledgrandad

      Scum that has no respect for others comes to my mind. Maybe we should now get the 1 doctor to agree your in need of a 7 day hold and put you in there, sounds socalpathic tendencies are a big clue, we have a Tory plant or fool here.

      1. Mike Sivier Post author

        I think you’ve misunderstood. Jeffrey Davies has long said he thinks the Tories believe anybody with a disability to be a “useless eater” – the term made famous by the Nazis in 1930s/40s Germany. He was criticising the Tories.

      2. Jeffrey Davies

        Who the Eck are you Tory plant my arse
        We had our chance and lost it has far to many believed the media BBC itv that Corbyn was whot ever mud they threw most stuck in a lot of minds how are you I can tell you myself a useless eaters ask RTU IDs
        I’m just one of many who if I go into hospital IL not get that help just a butterfly and a dnr above my bed oh I new so much but alas my brain has left it out so to ask how did I now I’m a useless eater because I’m one

  2. Hecuba

    Accountability lies with the current fascist tory government. They are responsible for causing the deaths of women and men in mental hospitals because once again it is deliberate fascist tory policy to ‘kill off worthless women and men!’ The coronovirus gives the fascist tories the excellent justification for denying these women and men their human rights including comprehensive and compassionate health care!

    Make no mistake the men in charge of these mental hospitals are acting on the specific orders of the fascist tory government. This is why the fascist tories are refusing to publish detailed evidence concerning the number of disabled; learning difficulties women and men who have died from the virus!

    Another very important question is how the virus was transmitted to some mental health hospitals given they are closed ones with supposedly high security!!! Blame lies with the fascist tories as usual!

  3. Barry

    Most mental health units are not secure, Mental health staff are not equipped by training or experience to deal with this sort of situation. Stopping visiting in this arena is far more damaging than in the physical health arena.

  4. trev

    I personally am a “useless eater”, i.e. I’m useless at eating, due to having a Hiatus Hernia there are certain foods I am best to avoid as well as being unable to eat large meals I can’t eat anything too late in the evening, despite taking medication for the rest of my life, but was told that this condition won’t affect my ability to work. I had a Work Coach that suggested in the case of doing shift work that I could eat sandwiches on the bus! I’m sure that would do my digestive system a world of good.

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