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Cruelty in mental health units has 'absolutely no place in modern healthcare', says BMA

Responding to a report1 by the Joint Committee on Human Rights, which found that the human rights of many patients with a learning disability or autism are being breached in mental health hospitals, Dr Andrew Molodynski, BMA mental health policy lead, said:

“Patients, particularly those who are vulnerable, have the right to feel safe when they use the NHS, but as this report shows, there are dark corners of the health service that are breeding harsh and abusive cultures - and it has to stop.

“The NHS has committed to improving mental health services, but progress is too slow, and we need urgent change. This includes making sure that staff working in psychiatric facilities are properly trained, patients are treated close to home, and that above all, their human rights remain unthreatened.

“This is not an example of the health service many of us recognise and it is shameful that anyone in our care would ever be subject to such barbaric and cruel behaviour. There is absolutely no place for this in modern healthcare, and every effort must be made to ensure improvements are made as a matter of urgency.”



Notes to Editors 

The BMA is a trade union representing and negotiating on behalf of all doctors in the UK. A leading voice advocating for outstanding health care and a healthy population. An association providing members with excellent individual services and support throughout their lives.

1. The full report can be read here.

For further information please contact:

British Medical Association, BMA House, Tavistock Square, London, WC1H 9JP
Telephone: 020 7383 6448 
Email: [email protected]
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