Sexual safety on mental health wards

Care Quality Commission, September 2018

Care Quality Commission report based on an analysis of nearly 60,000 reports that found 1,120 sexual incidents involving patients, staff, visitors and others described in 919 reports – some of which included multiple incidents. More than a third of the incidents (457) could be categorised as sexual assault or sexual harassment of patients or staff.  Providers and people who use services told the CQC:

  1. People who use services do not always feel that they are kept safe from unwanted sexual behaviour
  2. Clinical leaders of mental health services do not always know what is good practice in promoting the sexual safety of people using the service and of their staff
  3. Many staff do not have the skills to promote sexual safety or to respond appropriately to incidents
  4. The ward environment does not always promote the sexual safety of people using the service
  5. Staff may under-report incidents and reports may not reflect the true impact on the person who is affected
  6. Joint-working with other agencies such as the police does not always work well in practice

Click here to view the full report.

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