Mental health boss says it’s too much work to find out if legal consent has been given before administering controversial ECT Treatment

Dr Alice Seabourne, medical director at GMMH defends overuse of ECT in Greater Manchester saying it is in line with NICE guidelines.

See full M.E.N article here

Dr Alice Seabourne disputes the findings of the recent Freedom of Information audit of the use of electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) that showed that GMMHT uses ECT at the fourth highest rate in the country,

Further, GMMHT did not answer all of the Freedom of Information questions it was asked especially about whether patients gave consent before the procedure. Her grounds for not providing the requested information was that it was not held centrally and finding it would ‘create an unreasonable amount of work’ especially considering the pressures of the pandemic.

In spite of the considerable medical doubts about the efficacy of the treatment Seabourne claims “Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) is an effective, evidence-based treatment which is approved by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) in England and is delivered to patients within established legal frameworks.

Dr Seaborne said her staff take the use of ECT ‘extremely seriously’ following NICE and government guidelines, and that all GMMH ECT clinics are members of the Royal College of Psychiatrists external review system for the therapy.However GMMHT are using this last resort treatment at one of the highest rates in the country and at 43 times the rate of our neighbouring Trust, MerseyCare,

Rather than enter into open discussions about the overuse of ECT in Greater Manchester, Seabourne claims : “Information obtained via the Freedom of Information route should be approached with caution as the process was not designed to produce research, and any data sets are liable to be incomplete, particularly during the pandemic period – our internal analysis of the data we released as part of the FOI request is not consistent with that attributed to GMMH within the report.”

We would like to see this data and to have an open discussion about the future use of this outmoded treatment with the Trust.

Published by CHARM Greater Manchester

CHARM, the Community for Holistic, Accessible, Rights Based Mental Health was launched by The Organic Recovery Learning Community in September 2020.

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