RRN welcomes Culture of Care Standards for Mental Health Inpatient Services

Yesterday, NHS England launched their new Culture of Care Standards for Mental Health Inpatient Care including those with a learning disability and autistic people.

The RRN welcomes these new, coproduced standards, signalling an intention to implement positive ward cultures across mental health inpatient settings, to improve experiences of both staff and people receiving inpatient care.

The RRN believes mental health services should take a rights-based, therapeutic and person-centred approach to care. We therefore welcome the ambition to embed positive cultures across inpatient settings and improve quality of care. We further support the explicit acknowledgement of the essential value of lived experience and the ambition for care to be trauma-informed, autism-informed and anti-racist.

While the stated vision for inpatient care “for people to be consistently able to access a choice of therapeutic support and to be and feel safe” should be self-evident, we know that this is a far cry from many people’s experiences. Too many people spend long periods of time in hospital, hundreds of miles from home, subject to high levels of restrictive practices and not always receiving the assessment or treatment they require. Restraint reduction is a culture change programme that promotes positive cultures and challenges restrictive and abusive practices.   

This is an opportunity to meaningfully evaluate ward cultures and approaches to care and we look forward to seeing these improvements in practice.

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