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Last Updated: Wednesday, 10 March, 2004, 18:15 GMT
NHS support for pole dance dream
Pole dancer
The unnamed patient wanted to work as a pole dancer
A mental health patient was encouraged to work as a pole dancer at a West End club by an NHS trust, it has emerged.

The unnamed woman got a job at strip club Spearmint Rhino on Tottenham Court Road, in a scheme to help patients regain their independence.

Dr Rachel Perkins, of South West London and St George's Mental Health Trust, said she was not keen on the job but it was what the woman wanted to do.

Mental health charity Mind has also said it supports the scheme.

The job came to light during a nursing conference in which Dr Perkins, clinical director of adult mental health services at the trust, described the support programme.

Given that her doctor is backing her in this choice, her mental health condition should be utterly irrelevant to it
Mind spokeswoman
She said it was what the woman wanted to do and she had been fully supported by the staff.

A spokesman for the trust said it could not discuss individual cases, but added the programmes were seen as national "models of good practice."

He added that in 2002, the trust supported 232 patients in getting back to work and the feedback had been "overwhelmingly positive".

A spokeswoman for Mind said the charity supports patients' rights to pursue their chosen career, as long as it was legal and did not jeopardise their mental health.

She added: "Many people will be quick to pass judgement on this woman's choice of career, but given that her doctor is backing her in this choice, her mental health condition should be utterly irrelevant to it."


SEE ALSO:
Anger at pole dance plans
26 Jan 04  |  Kent
Lap dancing club keeps licences
14 Mar 03  |  England


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