‘Toxic Culture’ of Abuse at Mental Health ‘Hospital’ Revealed by BBC Secret Filming


From the BBC: “Humiliated, abused and isolated for weeks – patients were put at risk due to a ‘toxic culture’ at one of the UK’s biggest mental health hospitals, BBC Panorama can reveal.

. . . The BBC’s undercover reporter, Alan Haslam, spent three months as a support worker inside the Edenfield Centre in Prestwich, near Manchester.

. . . Whistleblowers had made allegations about poor staff behaviour and patient safety at the hospital.

Wearing a hidden camera, the reporter saw:

  • Staff swearing at patients, taunting and mocking them in vulnerable situations – such as when they were undressing – and joking about their self-harm
  • Patients being unnecessarily restrained – according to experts who reviewed the footage – as well as being slapped or pinched by staff on some occasions
  • Some female staff acting in a sexualised way towards male patients
  • 10 patients being held in small seclusion rooms – designed for short-term isolation to prevent immediate harm – for days, weeks or even months, with only brief breaks
  • Patient observations, a crucial safety measure, being regularly missed and records falsified

Dr Cleo Van Velsen, a consultant psychiatrist, said the BBC’s footage showed a ‘toxic culture’ among staff of ‘corruption, perversion, aggression, hostility, lack of boundaries,’ which was undermining patient recovery.

Prof John Baker, an expert in mental health nursing at the University of Leeds, said: ‘It doesn’t feel safe. You’re quite clearly seeing toxic staff. There’s an awful lot of hostility towards patients across all of the wards, which is really concerning.'”

Article →


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    • This abusive behavior is more prevalent in mental health workers. The power dynamics, lack of accountability for workers, stigma against speaking out about abusive treatment, NAMI style pedestalization of abusive behaviors as ‘mental health help’, etc allow for it to thrive.

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  1. It’s a shame that the ‘powers that be’ – who gave the psychiatric, et al industries unchecked powers – were not wise enough to know that “power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.”

    My experience with “mental health professionals” is they are absolutely corrupt – pathological liars, unrepentant attempted murders (via the medically known anticholinergic toxidrome poisonings), easily recognized malpractice and child abuse cover uppers, thieves and attempted thieves via toxic and disingenuous conservatorship contracts.

    Can you get much more ‘absolutely corrupt’ than that?

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