ITV News has found that 60% of NHS trusts have cut the number of beds available for mental health patients despite a government commitment to invest an extra £1 billion in mental health services. Just 11 months ago David Cameron promised the additional funding over five years in what was billed as a “mental health revolution”. However findings by ITV News suggest that the government is a long way from meeting its goals of improving the provision of community treatment as an alternative to hospital admission and trying to eliminate out of area care for patients needing acute inpatient care.
When a hospital has no beds it often faces the unenviable choice of either paying a private hospital to take their patient or sending them long distances from home to available NHS beds, sometimes hundreds of miles away.
32 out of 58 mental health trusts responded to a Freedom of Information request by ITV News which included questions to trusts about how far patients have had to travel when there have been no local beds and the cost of private care. ITV News believes that the responses from trusts suggest that the mental health system is desperately overstretched and that there is little evidence to suggest that any money from savings is invested in community services that may reduce the need for inpatient treatment.
If you, or a relative or friend, have been placed in a mental health unit a long way from home or are finding it difficult to get treatment in the community then our Mental Health Team at Southerns can help. We have significant experience in helping those affected by mental health problems, providing advice and representation when you, your relative or friend, needs it most.
Call a member of our experienced team for advice.
(To access the the full ITV News report please click here.)