The Parliamentary Ombudsman’s National Preventive Mechanism report on segregation in mental healthcare institutions

In the period between 2015 and 2018, the Parliamentary Ombudsman’s National Preventive Mechanism has visited 12 hospitals where patients are admitted for compulsory mental healthcare. During these visits, it was consistently found that many hospitals’ use of segregation gave cause for concern.

Segregation involves the patient being completely or partly removed from the other patients and only having contact with health personnel. Segregation, which can be implemented against the patient’s will, takes place in the patient’s room or in a segregation unit.

A key finding is that segregation is often carried out in ways that in reality are equivalent to isolation, or which clearly resemble isolation. Many patients spend a lot of time alone in bare rooms, often with little contact with the staff.

On the basis of the findings in the thematic report, the Parliamentary Ombudsman has chosen to make recommendations to help prevent inhuman and degrading treatment. The recommendations are intended for the national health authorities, health trusts and local hospital departments.

The summary and the recommendations of the segregation report is available in english.