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Astonishing report gives "depressingly Victorian" picture of some dementia care units

June 3, 2014 9:47 AM
Originally published by Scottish Liberal Democrats

Scottish Liberal Democrats have said that a report into the treatment of dementia patients in Scotland show that much more needs to be done to bring the treatment of mental ill health in line with physical ill health.

A report published by the Mental Welfare Commission today found that 73 percent of patients surveyed in specialist NHS units had not been on an outing from the unit in the previous three months. The wide-ranging report also criticised some units as "institutional, bare and stark" whilst also raising concerns over the lack of person-centred care plans.

Commenting on the report, Scottish Liberal Democrat justice spokesperson Jim Hume said:

"This report gives us a depressingly Victorian picture of how dementiaJim HumeJim Hume sufferers are being cared for in some NHS units. There seems to be a lack of basic humanity in those units which have been described by the Mental Welfare Commission as institutional and stark. I was shocked to learn that 73 percent of patients surveyed had not been on an outing from the unit in the previous three months.

"Concerns over the excessive use of medication and the lack of person-centred care plans will be particularly worrying for sufferers and their loved ones.

"Whilst I'm pleased that the Health Secretary has moved quickly to accept the recommendations in full I remain concerned that there is a wider cultural stigma attached to mental ill health. If we are to build a fairer society and give more people the chance they need to get on in life, we must change that culture.

"I want the Scottish Government to ensure that the standard of treatment we give to people suffering from mental ill health is the same as that which patients suffering from physical ill health receive. This must be enshrined in law. This astonishing report shows that we are not where we should be in supporting dementia sufferers, their families and our hospitals."