Clinical Negligence is not a subject that applies just to mainstream hospitals but an issue that covers psychiatric wards and units where mental health patients are cared for too. While these patients may not be receiving medical care in the obvious sense of the term, they are being provided with healthcare services that should be meeting a reasonable and competent standard.
1 million people a year receive care from specialist mental health services and annually there are approximately 100,000 admissions to hospital for mental illness.
Mental health patients are vulnerable to a number of potential risks, related not only to their own behaviour, but to the behaviour of others. Some behaviour can be abusive and challenging and there are obvious risks associated with this type of behaviour in addition to risks associated with their care and treatment.
See Naomi Eady’s article (June 2014) on NHS Mental Health Services approaching “tipping point”.