Mai 2005 May


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Opinions expressed in letters submitted for publication in Y Bont are purely those of the authors but the editors reserve the right to edit or not to publish letters submitted.

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I am writing in response to the information about the proposals for St David’s. I agree wholeheartedly that St David’s is the wrong place for people who have been legally excluded from society.

St David’s is applying to become a private hospital and many private hospitals are ‘cashing in’ on the current inadequacies in the National Health System which does not make proper provision for people who need much more intensive support. Private hospitals, and hostels w here potentially dangerous people are sometimes housed, are not usually concerned with community liv-ing and people are often housed in totally inappropriate environments,

The NHS should be providing proper assessments, per-son centred approaches, and facilities that will assess and treat people fairly and humanely and keep both them and communities safe. It is possible for people to leave secure and medium secure institutions, and with appropriate help, live lives that have quality and are productive.

But, serious sex offenders are dangerous people and the likelihood of being hurt by a sex offender increases with proximity. St David’s have a moral obligation to think about the local community and to talk to local people about the communities’ very valid concerns. I have visited many of these institutions in my work. They are often dreadful places, with people living in very close proximity to each other, with minimal facilities. Sometimes people housed there have some very serious mental health problems as well as learning dis-abilities and/or physical disabilities, Their problems are certainly not helped by their environments.

I would also point out that in some cases people I met in these institutions had never committed any crime or hurt anyone but had reached the depth of despair. Peo-ple in these institutions can think and react in terrible ways and maybe suicidal.

Perhaps we need to think more humanely about the type of people who maybe housed in private hospitals. who maybe detained for reasons other than crime. In our quite reasonable display of outrage about the dread-ful back door methods being used to relocate dangerout patients, let us not forget that people need to be treated according to the laws of this society. We must also remember that many of these people become vic-tims of the authorities who shift them about the country for their (the authorities) convenience.

Jayne Knight. M.A.
Community Mental Health.

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