Skip navigation

NHS failing patients with mental health problems

The Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman publishED 'NHS failing patients with mental health problems' ON 20 March 2018 and stated "Following an analysis of over 200 mental health complaints upheld by the Ombudsman, the report highlights five common failings that are compromising patients’ safety and dignity:

  1. Failure to diagnose and/or treat the patient: One investigation found that a woman was treated with anti-psychotic drugs for a psychotic episode but had a life-threatening reaction to them. Her physical symptoms were dismissed and tragically she died.
  2. Inappropriate hospital discharge and aftercare of the patient: In another case, a young man who had a complex history of mental health problems died from a drug overdose after being discharged from the local community mental health service, without a care plan in place.
  3. Poor risk assessment and safety practices: The report reveals how a young person suffering from bipolar disorder and on the autism spectrum was physically assaulted by another patient in a residential home, causing them immense fear and distress. A risk assessment, which could have easily prevented the assault, was not carried out.
  4. Not treating patients with dignity and/or infringing human rights: Another investigation found that a woman suffering from a psychotic episode was not given sanitary products while she was menstruating so she was forced to use a plastic cup. This was deeply humiliating for her and did not respect her dignity and well-being.
  5. Poor communication with the patient and/or their family or carers: The report tells how a woman who had a history of bipolar disorder had her new born baby taken from her unnecessarily and without explanation, causing her immense distress."




Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards: Towards Liberty Protection Safeguards: Implications of the 2017 Law Commission Report
Friday 20 April 
De Vere West One Conference Centre

Decision Making and Mental Capacity Implementing the 2018 NICE Guidance
Friday 18 May 
De Vere West One Conference Centre

Psychological Therapies for Severe Mental Illness: Recovery through Early Interventions
Friday 25 May 
De Vere West One

Mental Health Quality Summit 2018: Meeting and Measuring Progress against the CQC Quality Ratings in Mental Health
Monday 18 June 
De Vere West One Conference Centre

Mental Health Awareness Training
Monday 9 July 
De Vere West One Conference Centre


21 March 2018


    Partner Organisations

    The Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation TrustInPracticeClinical Audit Support CentrePlayoutJust For Nurses
    GGI (Good Governance Institute) accredited conferences CPD Member ASGBI (Association of Surgeons of Great Britain and Ireland) professional partner BADS (British Association of Day Surgery) accredited conferences