Mind comments on the closure of Henderson Hospital
Posted Monday 17 December 2007
Mind Chief Executive Paul Farmer said:
It would appear that peculiarities in the funding of NHS services are to blame for the closure of this valued specialist hospital. In the past, the NHS paid from a central budget for patients who used the Henderson hospital but under new reforms money now follows patients from their local primary care trust's budgets. But the money and the patients are no longer going to the Henderson because primary care trusts deem it too expensive.
"Just last year, this hospital had a six-month waiting list but now fewer than half its beds are occupied. This is not because of reduced patient demand or because the service offered is not up to scratch but because primary care trusts are not offering their patients the choice of receiving the hospital's specialist services."
"The biggest losers in this situation are the patients. High quality treatment for personality disorder isn't cheap - but it's cheaper than no treatment at all. People with personality disorder left untreated become revolving door patients in general psychiatric services, are unlikely to be employed, are prone to substance abuse, self-harm, and offending, and incur all the financial costs associated with these problems. Not to mention the emotional costs that can't make it on to a spreadsheet."
"Mind is concerned that new commissioning arrangements have overlooked mental health services. Payment by results, which is used to reward good practice in NHS trusts is not used to measure mental health services because it is considered too difficult to define a 'successful outcome' of mental health treatment. But while services determine success for other NHS trusts, mental health will remain the poor relation in the healthcare system."