Thursday, 23 August 2012

is adult protection in the psychiatric setting all it's cracked up to be?

"Fife Council Social Work, NHS Fife and Fife Constabulary are working in partnership to keep people safe from harm."  According to the adult protection information on the Fife Council website.

I'm wondering how this translates into the psychiatric setting where restraint, seclusion and forced treatment are ways of working with vulnerable people.  Where locked wards and seclusion rooms within locked wards mean that vulnerable people/patients are out of sight and out of mind.  Where carers, family members and named persons are not allowed to go, except by permission and even then could be by the back door.

What constitutes safety in the psychiatric ward?  Does it mean taking the pills and doing what you're told?  Being compliant and not questioning the decisions of professionals.  Accepting that they know best even if they don't know you.  

Or should it mean person centred care, getting to know the patient and carer and family members?  Mutual partnerships and shared decision making.  Like it says in the new mental health strategy for Scotland.  I say yes to this and to a safe psychiatric inpatient environment where adult protection is all that it should be.

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