Campaigners have voiced fears over the continuing use of electric shock treatments on mental health patients in Birmingham and Solihull.
The controversial method involves passing an electric current through the brain to bring on a seizure lasting up to a minute to treat depression.
Figures from the Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health NHS Trust show there have been 2,408 Electric Convulsive Therapy "administrations" since 2003.
With each patient having an average of eight sessions, that equates to 301 individuals.
The trust maintained the actual number of patients being treated with ECT was declining but mental health campaigners said the figures were a cause for worry.
Chris Wrapson, spokesman for the regional branch of the Citizens Commission on Human Rights, said: "The ECT procedure is no more scientific or therapeutic than being hit over the head with a cricket bat. These figures constitute around 300 individuals who have been subjected to this torturous barbaric abuse, cloaked in the guise of 'help'."
Figures from the Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health Trust show there were 884 ECT administrations between April 2003 and March 2004.
Between April 2004 and March 2005 there were 745 administrations followed by 779 in the last year.
The mental health charity Mind said ECT was an "invasive and irreversible procedure" that should only be used as a last resort in cases of extreme depression.
Paul Farmer, chief executive of Mind, said: "Some people do find ECT helpful, but 84 per cent of respondents to our last survey on ECT experienced adverse side effects. The most common long term side effects are memory loss, difficulty concentrating, and problems remembering new information, while headaches and dizziness are common in the short term."
Of the 2,300 patients receiving ECT nationally in the first quarter of 2002, a total of 360 did not consent to the treatment.
The Mental Health Foundation warns the effects of ECT can be short-lived and r isk causing long-term damage.
A survey of 1,344 psychiatrists found that 21 per cent identified "long term side effects and risks of brain damage, memory loss [and] intellectual impairment" as a result of ECT.
Neil Deuchar, medical director of the Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health Trust, insisted use of the treatment had not increased in the area. "Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health NHS Trust has changed the way that ECT treatments are recorded," he said.
He claimed the number of patients treated with ECT had in fact reduced by five to ten per cent over the past two years.