Heathcare Commission exposes acute mental health wards are failing patients, while forcing community services to close

Heathcare Commission exposes acute mental health wards are failing patients, while forcing community services to close

Responding to the Healthcare Commission’s report ‘The pathway to recovery: A review of NHS acute inpatient mental health services’, published today Matilda MacAttram, director of Black Mental Health UK said;
‘The work of high performing trusts shows how services should be. However almost one in four trusts have been rated ‘weak’, which means a quarter of patients are stuck on hospital wards that are failing.’

‘The over representation of patients from the African Caribbean communities who find themselves on locked wards, means that these failure will hit black people hardest , which is unacceptable .

This year marks the 10th anniversary since the tragic death of David Bennett. His treatment and care while in acute mental health services typifies the black experience. Millions of pounds and a decade later after Bennett’s death, where is the improvement?’

This report has revealed that overcrowding on many wards is leaving patients on locks wards without a bed to sleep in. Eight trusts have bed occupancy rates of over 100%.

‘Acute services are where people are taken when they are most unwell and so really should be getting the best care, if they are to have any hope of recovery. It beggars belief to know patients are detained, often against their will but do not have a bed to sleep in,’ Matilda MacAttram, director of Black Mental Health UK said.

The absence of commissioners at meetings to discuss strategic planning and co-ordination of services has also been highlighted in this report. Only 18%of commissioners are present at key planning meeting and this report also show that commissioners are not using the information available to them to assess their community’s needs.

Black Mental Health UK have learned of a number of community services that have been forced to close their doors in recent years due to lack of funding.

‘This report reveals the reasons behind the lack of funds for community based services, even though they are doing excellent. There is evidence to prove that community services are far more cost effective and are better equipped to ensure patients stay well than . This is a travesty, that could all so easily be avoided,’ Matilda MacAttram, director of Black Mental Health UK said.

See list of community based services without support:

1. Sankofa – Northamptonshire – closed down in 2006
2. Community Mental Health Team floating support service in Honeypot Lane in Stanmore – closed down in 20007.
3. The Two Way Street – Bristol – fighting closures since 2007.
4. Black Orchid – Bristol – closed down 2006.
5. Omincare community – Birmingham – fighting closure since 2007.
6. Harambee mental health services (25 years old) – Birmingham – closed down in 2008.
7. Franz Fannon – Birmingham – closed down in 2008.
8. Pattigift – Birmingham hospital – closed down – 2006.
9. Pattigift counselling service – fighting closures since 2006.
10.
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