Thirty two women died after experiencing restraint over a five year period, according to new figures obtained by Agenda, an alliance for women and girls at risk.

The data, on patients detained under the Mental Health Act, suggests women were more likely to have restraint-related deaths than men between 2012/13 and 2016/17.

Younger women made up a large number of the restraint-related deaths – 13 were aged 30 and under, compared to four men in that age range.

More than a fifth of women who died were from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic backgrounds, according to the figures, which were originally gathered by the Care Quality Commission.

Katharine Sacks-Jones, Director of Agenda and co-chair of the Women’s Mental Health Taskforce at the Department for Health and Social Care, said: “It is a national scandal that so many women are dying in our hospitals after being subjected to restraint."

"Mental health units are meant to be caring, therapeutic environments for women and girls feeling at their most vulnerable, not places where their lives are being put at risk."

Ms Sacks-Jones added: "The majority of women in mental health units have experienced violence and abuse – so being restrained is not only frightening and humiliating, it can also retraumatise them.

"For this reason alone, physical restraint should be used only as a last resort. The fact that it is putting lives at risk too means there is added urgency."

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Source: Mental Health Today