Mental Health Proposals ‘Must Be Carefully Considered’

The King's Fund Releases New Research

02.12.2010

Authorities must tread carefully when considering new proposals to make changes to the mental health system operated by the NHS, an expert at Irwin Mitchell has stated.

Research released by the King’s Fund and the Centre for Mental Health has suggested that some amendments to the way patients are treated could free up funds which could then be reinvested to improve care.

Among the proposals put forward are calls for a reduction in unnecessary bed use, as well as a cut in the number of people put in facilities outside of their local areas.

Commenting on the recommendations, Sarah Head, an expert in mental health issues at Irwin Mitchell, said: “Any research which advocates reducing access to NHS in-patient services, whether for acute or mental health services, must be considered carefully to ensure patient safety and services overall do not suffer.

“Increasing reliance on community services where they are already overstretched and/or do not have sufficient or appropriate skill sets does not save money in the long term and can result in unsafe discharges and increases in patient and carer misery.”