Mental healthcare in 2007: a bleak picture?
Posted Wednesday 5 December 2007
The Healthcare Commission report State of Healthcare out today highlights leading mental health charity Mind's key concerns about mental healthcare in 2007.
While progress has been made, such as the recent welcome investment by the Government in talking therapies, there is much room for improvement. Worrying findings this year included:
- 41 per cent of Primary Care Trusts failed to commission sufficient crisis services for people who are seriously mentally ill
- 13.6 per cent of independent mental health service providers failed to achieve five or more core national minimum standards
- Less than half (41.9 per cent) of independent mental health service providers met five or more core national minimum standards
- 17 per cent of independent providers of mental health services failed to meet standards on appropriate and safe patient restraint - a rise from 9 per cent (2004-05)
- 1 in 20 patients on mental health wards reported being assaulted
- 55 per cent of mental health patients were accommodated on mixed-sex wards despite repeated Government promises over the last decade to abolish them
- 2 year waits for referral to psychological therapies is not uncommon.
Mind Chief Executive Paul Farmer said:
"At the end of 2007 the state of mental healthcare today is showing some signs of progress but there is still a very long way to go before people with mental health problems get the standard of services they should be able to expect. We know that increased investment has led to improvements for some people but around the country experiences vary and the provision of services is patchy."
"What is particularly worrying is the gaping hole that exists is the provision of crisis services for people with mental health problems. It is unacceptable that almost half of all Primary Care Trusts have failed to commission sufficient crisis services. We are facing a situation where people who are at their most vulnerable and most in need are not getting the help and support they require."
"We are concerned that there has been a rise in the number of independent providers of mental health services that have failed to meet the standards on appropriate and safe patient restraint. Mind is aware of several tragic cases where people have been fatally restrained by staff who are not sufficiently trained or have not employed the correct restraint techniques. Urgent action must be taken to address this to prevent any further tragedies."