Mental Healthcare Compared To Car Crash

Professor Says Services Need Resolving Immediately

25.06.2014

One of the UK's leading psychiatrists has described the state of mental healthcare in the UK as being similar to a "car crash".

Professor Sue Bailey, outgoing president of the Royal College of Psychiatrists (RCP), said the situation resembled a crisis that needed resolving immediately, reports Sky News.

According to Ms Bailey, the government is not putting resources into caring for people with acute medical needs connected to conditions like schizophrenia and is instead focusing on more easily treatable physical health problems.

However, health secretary Jeremy Hunt defended his government's record - claiming a pledge to have parity between physical and mental healthcare on the NHS is an example of how seriously he takes the issue.

But speaking to Sky, Ms Bailey said: "It's a car crash that we are sleepwalking into. Well, we are not even sleepwalking, we are being driven into it by the way the system is run.

"We need to be getting money for prevention through Public Health England and we need more money for intervention. The sums of money that could make a difference are not huge but they could make a large difference."

Adding to this, the outgoing RCP head said that Mr Hunt had failed to take up her offer of visiting under-fire mental health services and ignored the potential of new innovative treatment plans.

Mental healthcare is, according to the RCP, an increasingly pressing issue because of the poor performance of the Western economy in recent years.

Figures published by Oxford University found there had been 10,000 preventable suicides across North
America and Europe since 2007 that could be directly linked to a drop in gross domestic productivity.

This is partially due to austerity measures that have led to cuts in mental health services in a number of countries - pushing people who could be treated through therapy or medication into deeper depression, which often leads to suicide attempts.

If you or a loved one has suffered due to professional or clinical negligence from a mental health practitioner, or at worst your loved one has died, we can help you to claim compensation. Visit our Mental Health Negligence Claims page for more information.

Expert Opinion
We continue to see on a daily basis the devastating consequences of mental health patients not being given the appropriate care and support they need.

“These are often vulnerable people and it is vital specific care plans are put in place and followed to help them manage their conditions and live with them as best as possible.

“Action is needed to improve resources and services across the country so that mental health patients have access to specialist care dedicated to their needs. Until then, we will continue to see cases of individuals causing harm to themselves and others that was preventable due to lack of support.”
Tom Fletcher, Associate