Published: 30 Sep 2022
The Equality and Human Rights Commission has a duty to enforce equality laws and defend human rights. We therefore consider all allegations of unlawful activities carefully and take action where necessary.
Responding to allegations shown by BBC Panorama on 28 September about the treatment of people in Edenfield Centre Mental Health Unit, in Prestwich, the Chief Executive of the Equality and Human Rights Commission, Marcial Boo, said:
“The reports of potentially unlawful activity at the Edenfield Centre Mental Health Unit in Prestwich may indicate a breach of patients’ human rights. These include the right of patients to be free from inhuman and degrading treatment, their right to liberty and security and their right to private and family life, including physical and psychological integrity.
“Sadly, the allegations against Edenfield are not unique. Similar abuses have been reported elsewhere against people with autism and learning disabilities. Successive government action plans have not led to fast enough progress to address these serious concerns. This needs to change.
“We are already pressing the Department for Health and Social Care to go further than the actions in its Building the Right Support Plan for detained patients. And we have clearly set out how the use of restraint in health settings and elsewhere, including both physical restraint and isolation, must comply with human rights law in our Human Rights Framework for Restraint.
“We have now written to Greater Manchester Mental Health Trust, copied to the relevant regulators, the NHS and government, to gain assurances that the human rights of patients will be actively and urgently protected. We will consider next steps in conjunction with health regulators and in the context of ongoing criminal investigations.”