Zephaniah Samuels:- Police presence on psychiatric wards is also touched on in this report. The shocking eye witness account of an elderly service users who watched while a squad of 12 heavily equipped police officers with riot armour, CS gas, Taser guns and an Alsatian attack dog went onto a hospital ward to remove just one young African man from a hospital is a practice that is largely unknown to those outside mental health services.
The final report by the now defunct Mental Health Act commission has revealed a catalogue of failings within the service, resulting in patient deaths which could have been prevented and an unecessary increase in the already high numbers of people from African Caribbean communities detained in psychiatric care.
And this is telling-
A section on ‘restraint and safety’ in this document notes that two patients suffocated after being restrained face down with excessive force, this report points out that this may have been avoided if staff ceased prone restraint earlier. Researchers also found some staff restrained patients without proper training.
Recommendations within the David ‘Rocky’ Bennett inquiry report, into the tragic death of an African Caribbean patient, who died after his was forcibly restrained by a team of up to five staff for almost half and hour while in a secure unit in a hospital in Norfolk, led to recommendations that no patient should be restrained in the prone position for longer than three minutes. A decade after Bennett’s death this new report confirms that the Government has neither established national mandatory training or endorsed a time limit on face down restraint recommended in the inquiry report.