21 June 2004

Today Dr Joanna Bennett, sister of Rocky Bennett, who died following the use of restraint whilst a detained patient in 1998, will address an open forum organised by the Transcultural Psychiatry Society (UK). Also speaking will be Professor Sashidharan, a panel member of the independent inquiry into the death of Rocky Bennett that reported in February this year making a series of recommendations to prevent further similar deaths. The forum will consider the lessons that can be learnt from the case of David 'Rocky' Bennett, but more importantly will consider what action is needed to demand changes to the ways in which Black people are treated in psychiatric services.

INQUEST and those organising today's meeting are also particularly concerned that so soon after the Bennett Inquiry report yet another Black man from Asian background died after being subjected to control and restraint.

On May 28, 24-year-old Azrar Ayub, a patient at the secure Edenfield Unit at Prestwich hospital near Manchester was found dead after being sedated and restrained by staff at the hospital. It seems as if nothing has been learnt from the Bennett Report.

NOTE The Transcultural Psychiatry Society (UK) aims to stimulate thinking, attitudes, and research that will promote appropriate multi-cultural and anti-racist approaches to mental health service provision. It provides a focal point for professionals, service users and other concerned with issues of 'race', culture and ethnicity in mental health. Its membership comprises mental health professionals, service users and carers. The forum is hosted by the TCPS and sponsored by the African Caribbean Mental Health Commission and the GLA.

Further Information and Background Briefing

  • www.inquest.org.uk
  • 020 7263 1111
  • Time and Date Monday 21 June 12.15 - 5pm
  • Place City Hall, The Queens Walk, London, SE1 2AA