BBC: Police threaten legal action over lack of mental health beds

A chief constable has vowed to stop “unlawfully” holding people with a mental illness in police cells because the NHS has no beds for them.

Shaun Sawyer, chief constable of Devon and Cornwall Police, wrote to Devon Partnership NHS Trust to say it would be held to account in future.

The letter, leaked to the Express and Echo, says legal action may be taken if the situation is not resolved.

The trust said it was disappointed, but accepted more needed to be done.

Mr Sawyer said while it was “unedifying” to sue a public body, he would do so if necessary.

Full story here

Bedlam: The asylum & beyond


Follow the rise and fall of the mental asylum and explore how it has shaped the complex landscape of mental health today. Reimagine the institution, informed by the experiences of the patients, doctors, artists and reformers who inhabited the asylum or created alternatives to it.

Today asylums have largely been consigned to history but mental illness is more prevalent than ever, as our culture teems with therapeutic possibilities: from prescription medications and clinical treatment to complementary medicines, online support, and spiritual and creative practices. Against this background, the exhibition interrogates the original ideal that the asylum represented – a place of refuge, sanctuary and care – and asks whether and how it could be reclaimed.

Taking Bethlem Royal Hospital as a starting point, ‘Bedlam: the asylum and beyond’ juxtaposes historical material and medical records with individual testimonies and works by artists such as David Beales, Richard Dadd, Dora García, Eva Kotátková, Madlove: A Designer Asylum, Shana Moulton, Erica Scourti, Javier Téllez and Adolf Wölfli, whose works reflect or reimagine the institution, as both a physical and a virtual space.

For more information please visit the Wellcome collection website here: