More than half of recent mental health in-patients rated their ward as unpleasant or very unpleasant, according to a survey.
Just over a quarter of those polled were unhappy with the cleanliness of their ward and 28 per cent were not satisfied with the amount of natural light, the report by Mind revealed.
It found evidence that access to gardens was being used as a reward for good behaviour and denied as a punishment. One respondent said the toilets “were often ankle deep in faeces”.
Mental health in-patients stay on wards for an average of 58 days, nearly 12 times longer than physical health patients.
The report argued that good ward design could aid recovery and recommended that service users be involved in the design of new hospitals. Also, all patients should have access to gardens, and sleeping accommodation should be single sex.