"The Arundal Unit"
About: Kent and Medway NHS and Social Care Partnership Trust / Inpatient mental health care Kent and Medway NHS and Social Care Partnership Trust Inpatient mental health care ME19 4AX
Posted by the very difficult patient (as ),
I was very impressed overall with the care and treatment provided on Edgehill Ward at the Arundal Unit in Ashford. The Arundal Unit provides in-patient care and treatment to patients in mental health crisis.
Although the Kent & Medway NHS and Social Care Partnership Trust "rent" space at the William Harvey Hospital on upper floors the Trust have made provisions for those mentally ill that smoke cigarettes in a space designated at the Arundal Unit for those patients that smoke. However on admission when patients mental health can be at its most acute I do not consider it appropriate for the Trust to use whether a patient can go outside for a cigarette in exchange for good behaviour, given the behaviour of some patients, such as myself can be attributed to being forced to go "cold turkey" from nicotine until it is decided whether a patient can go outside and smoke.
Despite the obvious health benefits from not smoking to patients and staff, if detained under the Mental Health Act, patients' should be able to enjoy the rights and freedoms of what is after all a legal activity and some staff, like patients do smoke. If detained in prison inmates are permitted to smoke but patients' with mental illness through no fault of their own often find themselves not just detained against their will, but forced to stop smoking until a Consultant Psychiatrist sees the patient, that may not be for a few days, whereby the patient has to request Section 17 MHA 1983 permission ordinarily required to leave the psychiatric unit just to smoke cigarettes.
I consider that patients' with mental illness should be able to smoke in a safe and secure space and quite often a cup of tea and a cigarette is what is needed to help a patient relax, for a smoker that is.