Islands Need ‘Large Amount Of Work’ On Mental Health Provision

Members of the Council’s Health Overview and Scrutiny committee have received a report highlighting the problems with mental health provision on the islands.

But it concludes that there is still “a large amount of work” needed to ensure the safety of patients.

The report, written by senior primary care manager, Rachel Crawley, is in response to an incident in July this year, reported by ScillyToday, when a visitor to the islands suffered an acute deterioration in mental health and had to be cared for by a local hotelier.

This highlighted problems in communication between the different health and emergency response agencies on the islands as well as difficulties getting the patient to specialist care on the mainland.

Ms Crawley’s says the main problem is a lack of a ‘safe place’ where a patient can be looked after ‘with dignity and privacy.’ St Mary’s hospital can’t be used because the accommodation is unsuitable and is not registered by the Care Quality Commission.

A safe place has been identified by the Council but work is needed to make it suitable and get it registered.

Rachel says the PCT will need to ensure there is a doctor on the islands who can ‘section’ a patient, communication needs to be improved and some training put in place.

She adds that while good progress is being made on this long-standing issue, there still remains a lot of work to be done.


2 Responses to Islands Need ‘Large Amount Of Work’ On Mental Health Provision

  1. maureen carter November 26, 2012 at 5:52 pm

    It is sad that it took a problem with a visitor to alert Rachael Crawley that there is a lack of mental health provision in the islands. At the end of the day the visitor will return to the mainland and the services that are provided there. Of greater concern to me is when your nearest and dearest becomes mentally ill and they need to go to the mainland for treatment. Then you are told that their continuing care cannot be met in the islands and they will have to go into a care home on the mainland. You have no choice but to be separated. The cost of transport and accommodation are prohibitive to allow much in the way of visiting. So please Ms Crawley consider the mental health needs of residents in the islands and the impact on their families.

  2. MHS November 25, 2012 at 11:37 am

    Unfortunately it seems that we’re all still ‘trapped’ in a medical model when it comes to the ‘treatment’ of mental health issues, thus we foolishly rely ‘doctors and nurses’ to ‘treat’ what we continue to view as illness. You have an excellent opportunity to develop a new community based mental health model which currently appears un-fettered by the medics. Since the Lunacy Act 1842 and the General Medical Act 1858 emotional and behavioural problems have been medicalised thus as McLeod (1998) points out the ‘trade in lunacy’ had begun.

    It seems to offer a great opportunity to lead the way in something new and workable.
    Thank you.