Whilst awaiting the news of Leslie Griffiths' impending 'Bob Diamond' moment - when ashe is unceremonially ejected from her Ministerial post and reassigned to the canteen till - I became extremely depressed over two articles about the poor treatment of the mentally ill, and of course, their carers. First there was the report 'Scandal of children on adult psychiatric wards'. This urgent topic has been reported for some thirty years now, and still the Health Boards are placing vulnerable children in adult wards with mixed sex, acutely ill patients. Promise after promise has been broken by the uncaring Health Boards who treat all mentally ill patients with scant concern. Similarly, the necessity of same gender wards has been ignored, from even as far back the report of the Royal College of Psychiatrists in 2000. Now, if that highly esteemed body is treated with contempt, what hope is there for the rest of us ? ( Echo 12th JUly 2012 ).
Next, on the 14th inst, in the same Echo I read 'Mental health suicide worry' among patients being condemned to be treated in their own homes ( where most of their problems probably occurred ). Once again, the loyal Royal College of Nursing has called for 'proper investment' to ensure that mental heathcare in the community was safe. Peter Meredith-Smith, Mental Health Lead and Employment Relations Director states, "The ongoing shift in mental healthcare from inpatient services to communitysettings requires proper investment if we are to ensure that mental healthcare in the community is safe and therapeutic". Well said, Sir ! Unfortunately your idea of 'proper healthcare' and that of the Health Boards is as far apart as planet earth and planet Uranus. Inspite of the urgent need for these corrections, I have to say that I doubt very much if I will see them in the time left to me by the Almighty. I just wish that all my efforts ( and those of my colleague, 'Magpie') could produce some modicum of improvement in the services to the Mentally ill. Somebody MUST be listening SOMEWHERE, surely ? R.W.