It happens every day in Norwegian hospitals: Psychiatric patients acting out in a way that enables healthcare professionals decide to use one of the most intrusive forced methods at their disposal – to tie the patient downby force.
VG can today reveal how Norwegian hospitals under report serious coercion. Hospitals tells of chaos and, information that disappears on the road to national health authorities – and patient information recorded with pen and paper.
Lacked nine out of ten decisions
Worst in the class is St. Olav’s Hospital in Trondheim. Where nine out of ten belt orders were never reported to health authorities.
VG has mapped all decisions on using “mechanical restraints” like belt restraints and straitjackets by the 115 institutions in Norway that are approved for treatment of psychiatric patients.
This type of coercion is regarded as one of the strongest types of coercion that the authorities can do to an individual and is therefore subject to a special control regime.
The institutions are required to report all use of coercion to the central health authorities, but every fourth belt laying does not exist in the official figures from the Directorate of Health :
– While Norwegian hospitals in 2014 reported in 2802 cases of this type of coercion, said they now that figure is 3768 – that is almost a thousand more.
– Directorate of Health believes that the use of mechanical coercion go down in Norway,but VG survey shows the opposite – the numbers are on the rise.
– Health Authorities are reporting lower figures than is real. Only one hospital managed to submit the correct number – Vestre Viken in Buskerud.
– St. Olav’s Hospital in Trondheim reported in 30 belt laying ( coercion ) to Norwegian Patient Register in 2014, but says now that the real number was almost nine times higher – 251.