‘Shocking new figures’ from a Herald on Sunday ‘investigation’ form the basis for this latest scare story on NHS Scotland, building on Reporting Scotland’s series on the Carseview Unit in Dundee. As with previous topics such as Ecstasy deaths or dangerous dogs, some readers and writers are known to become excited if they think a bigger pattern is emerging even if they should know that it is their decisions which are creating its emergence in the first place.
I wonder, if there is any other evidence to back up the headline claim? See this official statement:
‘Over the last six years, collaboration and innovation from staff, service users and carers – along with the application of quality improvement and improvement science – has seen a reduction in self-harm of up to 68 per cent, a reduction in violence of up to 80 per cent and a reduction in the rate of restraint of up to 80 per cent across Scotland as of April 2018 compared to August 2012’
Makes you wonder, doesn’t it. I’m not a subscriber so I can’t assess the Herald’s research methods. Perhaps a reader can?
Also, you see the word ‘dangerous’ there in the headline? I did an extended search for any evidence of death, resulting from such constraint. I found lots, in England. I could only find one in Scotland in 2001:
‘There are no absolute safe restraint positions; even the recovery position has been associated with a restraint-related death in Scotland. Morrison and Saddler (2001).’
In England, from Mental Health Today in 2018, I found:
‘Thirty-two women died after experiencing restraint over a five-year period, according to new figures obtained by Agenda, an alliance for women and girls at risk.’
The article seems to be entirely based on NHS England and English politicians. There is no mention of Scotland anywhere. Then in the Guardian in June 2018:
‘A total of 3,652 patients suffered an injury through being restrained during 2016-17 – the highest number ever – according to data from 48 of England’s 56 mental health trusts. The figures raise serious questions about the effectiveness of the government’s drive to reduce use of techniques which critics say can be traumatic for patients and even endanger their lives.’
Looking, for comparable figures for Scotland, I couldn’t find any. It’s a bit different but Conservative Home helped out with:
The Guardian figures are for injuries due to restraint only while the above are for all injuries including ‘trips’, but, if they are correct……well I’m worried…….about the methods used by Scottish Conservative mental, health spokeswoman, Annie Wells.