Mental Health patients waiting years for discharge

shutterstock_310310357Waiting times for hospital discharge within mental health units has featured heavily in the media following data published by the BBC under Freedom of Information Act laws.

Within the last two years more than 90 mental health patients have waited a year or more to be discharged from hospital and at least 320 patients have waited 100 days or more. Experts say a lack of suitable accommodation and lengthy discussions over budgets are to blame for the delays.

Further criticism has followed from Sir James Munby, head of the family courts in England and Wales, after legal involvement was required to secure care for a suicidal girl. He stated that there would be “blood on our hands” if the individual did not receive adequate supervision upon her release from secure custody following several suicide attempts.

An earlier ruling heard how unit staff had witnessed “a profoundly disturbing and distressing scene when the girl self-harmed by repeatedly banging her head and face against the wall”. Consequently, an extra £125,000 was spent on staff to care for her whilst a specialist unit was found.

Commenting on the length of time Mental Health patients have been kept in hospital a spokeswoman for NHS England said: “The NHS is now increasing alternatives to hospital admissions.”

“There is an extra £400m for crisis resolution home treatment teams, as well as investment in community mental health services.”

Luke Dunn, Marketing Manager from a specialist provider of mental health rehabilitation units said “Here at Camino Healthcare we pride ourselves on our state of the art facilities and robust care model. Each one of our Rehabilitation Units offer 24-hour nursing staff in addition to an MDT consisting of Psychologists, Occupational Therapy, a designated activities team and Health Care Support Staff.”

“We want our local authorities and mental health professionals looking to place mental health patients in a service such as ours to know that we are here for them.”

Our Rehabilitation Units offer a solution for mental health patients that are ready for discharge. If this is effecting the ward or trust that you work in, please get in touch. You can make a referral using our online facility, click the button below.