BY TOM COLLINS
In essence, the legal and commercial remit of the Psychiatric profession, as an agent of social control and financial gain, has been greatly extended (to help the police), beyond the considerable power it currently has with NO balance to provide protection in the other direction. The legal reach and responsibility of Psychiatric Care stops as soon as a patient is on a locked ward. This is a further gross imbalance to a system that has been in disequilibrium for decades. It is likely to be profitable for Debuty Reichs Furher Boris’ “Golden Triangle of Opportunity between Oxford, Cambridge and The South East because we have a genetically diverse population of 8 million” (paraphrasing here) on which to test drugs. Laughing all the way to Astrazeneca’s payroll. (Oxbridge gets a £330 million biomedical lab. Ra, Ra, Ra). http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/e86805f6-0e64-11e4-b1c4-00144feabdc0.html#axzz3D7IHDi00
The culture of West African christian animism has to be tackled because many staff hold the unconscious bias that clients with mental health difficulties are possessed by Satan. There is a culture within the staff of using white sheets on furniture so they do not catch the demons like a dose of influenza. No bibles, no promotion of 15th Century Bible values on the wards please, there is a chaplaincy for that. There is enormous unconscious bias towards Carribbeans in terms of the History of Chattel Slavery, in that this group were sold in to slavery to the Europeans by other West Africans and sent away. (From my experience and from what I’ve studied there is a “We didn’t want you in the first place” from West Africans towards Carribbeans and a “You sold us out to Babylon” from Carribbeans. What would be useful is ensuring that ethnic foreign nationals are not homgenised collectively amongst the staff (eg, for example a Yoruban primary nurse would be discouraged from employing Yoruban agency staff, encouraged instead to employ Igbo or Carribbean and other ethnic backgrounds to ensure patients have access to a diverse range within the staff team). I have heard a Primary Nurse argue with another member of staff over not giving a shift to an agency worker because he was Igbo and not Yoruban.
There is currently, at least within the South London and Maudsley, a clearly definable caste system amongst the staff. At the bottom rung there are the cleaning and auxilliary staff, which tend to be european, carribean male and african female. Then you move into the nursing staff and it is predominantly West African Male and Carribean Female. Then you move up to the Doctors and there are staff of mainly European, Indian and
Chinese heriatge. Then you move up the next rung and you have predominantly white European clinical directors and service managers, mixed gender. Then into the Professors, which is Predominantly white male. The Neo-Patriarchy in action, with a heavy dose of Neo-racism, with it’s base undertow of neo-colonialism.
The staff who I feel most sorry for are the nurses because they are stuck. Little option to move up but plenty of options to move sideways only. There is a sense that they are trapped, like the patients, but the agency power differential means that abuses against patients are common as a means to vent their personal frustrations, and benefit the higher rungs of the hierarchy because it creates business opportunities and more pathologising of a vulnerable and silenced patient group.
If the Department of Health wants to be seen to protecting the Human Rights of patients and staff the above two options are the only way forward. However the Department of Health is not serious as there has been a year long campaign to target children, pay lip service to symptoms (i.e. Mental Health Foundation’s month long “Anxiety Festival”), the disgusting silence of the Mental Health Charities as to this consultation (I call them the Trauma Vampire Industry as they have spent a lot of resources in encouraging the populous to look the other way and yet they have had sufficient contact with Parliamentarians due to May’s publication of a manifesto for mental health for the next administration and have remained silent to the point of feigning ignorance).
The consultation should be implemented in April 2015 in time to be drowned out by the next general election. Most service users see the staff and the industry as evil. I think this is a mistake. It’s just business. In the same way that chattel slavery and collateral damage is just business. Iatrogenic business practices will continue and increase because someone has got to invest in Dave, Gideon, Nicholas and Alexander Boris’ penicillin city. The Police have become too expensive and problematic so it’s cost effective to push vagrancy, street drinking and criminal anti-social b_ehaviour into medicine. A lot of cattle can become economically productive without having to go to work.
I apologise if I have caused offence. There are complex ethnic, cultural and social problems for which most staff and patients are not responsible for. However the Department of Health is.