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Mental Health Wards rated unpleasant

According to a survey, mental health wards have been graded as unpleasant or very unpleasant by 56% of recent mental health inpatients//.

The charity called Mind revealed that 29% of them expressed dissatisfaction over the state of repair of their ward while 28% were not satisfied with the standards of hygiene. Mind is for patients to be treated in a therapeutic environment. According to it, improvement may be slowed down by frustration due to boredom caused by lack of activity.

A mental health inpatient has to stay for almost 12 times longer (58 days on an average) than an inpatient with physical disabilities. A Healthcare Commission report, published last year, revealed that standards of cleanliness were poorer in mental health hospitals than in acute units.

According to Mind, access to gardens and good ward design may have a big impact in providing a calm and therapeutic environment. However, its survey has revealed that access to gardens at some wards was a reward and was deprived of as a punishment.

Mind is necessitating the involvement of service users in the pattern of new hospitals and maintenance of hygiene in all wards. According to it, access to green spaces should be given to all and single sex sleeping accommodation should be provided.

Chief executive Paul Farmer said: "Going into hospital with mental health problems can be very traumatic. "We rely on hospitals to help us get well, but at the moment many are not providing a therapeutic environment. "We would like to see all mental healthcare environments come up to the standards of the best. "On many wards there's simply no alternative to, at best, boredom, at worst, fear. "This can and must be addressed as a matter of urgency."

A Department of Health spokesperson said: "We agree that the hospital environment is a significant factor in aiding the recovery of people with mental health problems. "That is why we have significant ly increased capital investment in mental health services. "On top of the £1.6bn capital spent by mental health trusts over the past four years, we have made available another £190m to improve patient accommodation."

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