MENTAL health patients are more prone to “poorer” experiences during hospital stays, a new NHS poll warned yesterday.
According to a survey of more than 83,000 inpatients, doctors are less likely to involve those with mental health issues or learning disabilities in decisions about their care.
Many also felt that they did not receive the appropriate emotional support during their stay.
NHS Providers head of policy Miriam Deakin said the results showed an “overall improvement” in patients’ experiences, but “also raise questions about the need to ensure that service users with a mental health condition are supported in all care settings.”
The survey found that one in 10 people with mental health conditions or a learning disability felt doctors often talked about them as if they were not in the room. While 60 per cent of people felt there was enough emotional support throughout their stay, only 42 per cent of those were suffering with mental health problems.
Rethink Mental Illness charity director of external affairs Brian Dow said: “While these figures are extremely worrying, they could be a catalyst for change, because it is just as reasonable to expect to be informed and consulted about your treatment when you have a mental health problem as it is when you have a physical health problem.
“It doesn’t cost anything. In fact, involving people in their own care is proven to save money in the long term.”