Bed Crisis In Mental Health Care
There can be no doubt that mental health care should be a major issue that all political parties should be looking very closely at. Indeed, successive governments have promised and failed to fix what is essentially a broken system. There are some people who have issues far greater than can be handled as out patients or clients of private psychotherapeutic services. Usually, the issue is that there are not enough beds to safely treat these people. However, in a recent report, it is now clear that one of the reasons for this to be the case is the delay in discharging patients who no longer need to be in in-hospital care.
NHS England says that 17509 bed days were lost in 2016 in the 24 trusts which specialise in mental health and learning difficulties. Part of the delay is blamed on the lack of social care in the community. Obviously, private psychotherapeutic services can help in these cases, but it certainly is not an answer to what is a fundamental and systemic flaw in mental health provision.
It is time for the government to do a root and branch review of mental health provision and to make real and effective changes to its provision or we will find ourselves in the middle of a mental health epidemic not seen certainly in my lifetime.