Mental health patients incorrectly given mood-altering drugs

Inspectors said some substances were given to patients by staff without the legal right to do so.

Patients at mental health facility given ‘psychotropic drugs’ without legal authority Google Maps

Patients at a Scottish mental health facility were given psychotropic medication without staff having the legal authority to do so.

A spot check by the Mental Welfare Commission found those on the Arran Ward at Dykebar Hospital in Paisley were administered drugs not prescribed on their treatment plans.

The unannounced May visit found workers had signed authorisation certificates under the Mental Health Act which did not relate to previously approved care for certain individual patients.

It meant some were given the substances, which can affect mood, awareness, thoughts, feelings and/or behaviour, incorrectly.

Investigators also found consent to treatment permits were not in place, despite a slew of previous recommendations.

Those included “advanced statements,” which set out the care and treatment those experiencing mental ill-health would and would not prefer should they become unwell again.

The Commission ordered bosses to impose a “system of regular auditing compliance” in relation to the administering of medication before their next visit.

Psychotropic drugs cover everything from antidepressants, anti-anxiety medications and antipsychotics, to stimulants and mood stabilizers.

The report did not specify which type of drugs had been wrongfully administered, but urged staff to ensure more stringent protocols were put in place.

It also requested the ward’s eight rehabilitation beds and 12 recovery beds were converted from dormitories to individual rooms in order to aid inpatient care.

A spokesperson for NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde said: “We note the findings of the Commission’s report on their visit to Arran Ward including the positive feedback from patients who spoke favourably about their care on the ward.

“We acknowledge the finding that, in a few cases, certificates authorising treatment were inaccurate or not in place at the time of the Commission’s visit in May, and have already taken appropriate action to rectify this.

“We have also put in place a system of regular auditing compliance with this as part of an action plan to address all the Commission’s recommendations.”

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