CLACTON MP Giles Watling is campaigning for mental health patients in Tendring to have more power over their treatment.

Mr Watling spoke during a debate in the House of Commons to call for patients to have more say over their care packages.

He asked mental health minister Jackie Doyle-Price if she agreed that giving patients greater control over their own treatment is part of the treatment itself.

Mr Watling said: “It can be a very scary experience to have treatment offered to you if you don’t really know understand what that treatment is or why you are having it.

“Often, understanding your treatment and having an input into your care can make you feel like you are in the driver’s seat. This is very important.”

Mrs Doyle-Price said that she “totally agreed” and the mental health system still needs work.

She said: “We are very concerned we are still finding cases in which people are being detained under the Mental Health Act without being properly apprised of their rights, and without the support of advocates.”

Mr Watling said making sure patients understand their rights is “vital”.

He added that he would also oppose any plans by the Essex Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust (EPUT) that disadvantage patients in Clacton.

Clacton’s Peter Bruff inpatient ward, which provided treatment for adults with acute mental health problems, was transferred to the King’s Wood Centre in Colchester just 18 months ago.

But campaigners have been told inpatient services could be downgraded to a limited five-day stay assessment unit and that patients could be sent to the south of the county for treatment.

Mr Watling said: “I will await the full consultation. In the meantime I will continue to press the needs of Clacton with EPUT.

“I would oppose any plan to downgrade any service that would disadvantage my constituents.”

The trust said it is looking into making changes to services at the Peter Bruff ward, but that nothing has yet been decided.