A North East MP has said immediate action needs to be taken to improve mental health provision, which a national charity said was at 'breaking point'.

Stockton North MP Alex Cunningham has said he supports mental health charity Mind's call for immediate action to improve medical facilities specialising in mental health.

This comes after the charity launched its Raise the Standard campaign to aid in this effort.

A survey of 2,014 British adults, conducted on behalf of Mind, found 35 per cent of people do not have confidence that a loved one would be safe in hospital mental healthcare.

Read more: Woman slams mental health care in Darlington for 'continually failing'

Thirty-two per cent said they are not confident their loved ones would be treated with respect.

Meanwhile, 68 per cent also said they thought the Government should be doing more to protect patients from unsafe care.

Mr Cunningham said said: "Patients, family members and staff all deserve to know that the facilities provided by the mental health facilities are fit for purpose and working in the best interests of those using the service.

"While positive steps have been taken by our own local Tees, Esk and Wear Valley (TEWV) NHS Trust, it is clear that there is still a long way to go.

Read more: Family claim West Park hospital, Darlington, was 'compassionless'

"Mind is completely right - immediate political action is required to improve mental health facilities.

"Sadly, despite repeated calls from myself and others in the region for the Government to intervene and support TEWV with resources and in ensuring the Trust is well-staffed.

"Ministers are yet to properly explain what they will be doing to ensure the Trust succeeds and the wholly avoidable tragedies that have plagued the Trust in the past are avoided going forward.”

Patients at West Park Hospital in Darlington, under Tees, Esk and Wear Valley NHS Foundation Trust, have claimed the hospital had failed them or loved ones in regards to mental health provision.

Sammie Wilson, 28, told The Northern Echo last month that whilst she received outpatient care out of West Park Hospital in Darlington, she was “abused” by staff, who, she claims, would shout, slam phones down, and use triggers and past traumas to manipulate her.  

Jessica Robson, 27, from Darlington, who spent time in West Park hospital between 2015 and 2017, and was sectioned again in 2022, claimed her time on the ward was fraught with bullying on the ward.

Last month, the family of Matthew Gale, 37, who died on Sunday, March 19, after leaving West Park Hospital, where he was being treated for mental health issues, claimed the treatment had contributed to his death.

They said the “incompetent and compassionless care” contributed to his mental health struggles and pushed him to take his own life.

Speaking on this last month, a spokesperson for TEWV, said: “Our hearts go out to Matthew’s family and friends. It is incredibly sad when someone under our care dies, and we always carry out a full review of a person’s care.

“We have a duty to protect patient confidentiality which means we are limited in what information we can share about Matthew however we welcome the opportunity to involve his family in our review of his care and to discuss their concerns.”

“We always check that we have an up-to-date address recorded for our patients, and this is clearly documented in their clinical records. This does require our patients and families to provide accurate and current information.”

Dr Sarah Hughes, chief executive of Mind, said: “One case of abuse, neglect or unsafe care is too many, people are suffering because of the shocking state of care in mental health hospitals.

"People should go to hospital to get well, not to endure harm. This is wholly unacceptable and must be addressed urgently.

“Families are being let down by a system that’s supposed to protect their loved ones when they are at their most unwell. Patients’ human rights are being violated as they are left to cope on run-down, understaffed wards, wrongly restrained and put in seclusion. The consequences can be and have been fatal.

“Too many people are bearing the brunt of the crisis in mental health services, as decades of underfunding take their toll. It is clear these failings are systemic.

“Mental health hospitals are at breaking point, public trust has been decimated, and we need immediate political action. But it does not have to be this way – good mental health hospitals do exist, but proper care must be available across the board.”

Dr Hughes added that a “full public statutory inquiry” is the “first step".

She said: “Politicians must not stand by and allow one more person to go through this suffering. They owe it to every family that is picking up the pieces of a broken system.”

According to Mind, more than 24,000 adults and 1,200 children are inpatients in mental health hospitals in England.

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Minister for mental health, Maria Caulfield, said: “This government is clear that anyone receiving treatment in an inpatient mental health facility should receive safe, high-quality and compassionate care and expect to be treated with dignity and respect.

“We are improving mental health services across the country and will shortly publish the findings from an independent rapid review that focuses on improving the way we use data and evidence – including complaints, feedback and whistleblowing alerts – to identify patient safety risks and failures in care.

“An extra £2.3 billion a year by March 2024 is being used to expand and transform mental health services in England – treating an additional two million more people – and we are funding over 160 schemes to provide urgent care in more appropriate spaces, including crisis cafes, crisis houses, and mental health urgent care centres.”