Mental Health Patients At Risk Due To Social Care Budget Cuts

Legal Experts Urge Government To Prioritise Mental Health

12.11.2015

Kate Rawlings, Press Officer | 0114 274 4238

Specialist medical negligence lawyers have called on the government to take action after a leading think tank claimed that swinging budgets cuts, to already cash-strapped mental health services, may be putting patients at risk.

According to the influential King’s Fund think tank, less than a fifth of people feel they received appropriate care in a crisis and evidence of poor quality is widespread.

It reported that mental health services were under "huge pressure" and called for an end to cuts in order to prevent the further decline in quality of care.

Chief executive of the NHS Confederation's Mental Health Network, Stephen Dalton, warned that the subject of mental health is repeatedly discussed but that there is little action to help those who needed it most.

He told media: "It's become a spectator sport now with everyone from the Prime Minister to NHS England standing on the side-lines talking about what should happen whist local services aren't seeing any new funding and in fact, are being cut."

“That together with cuts to social care is resulting in the most dreadful stories and experiences for people who are very vulnerable and in need of services."

The alarming study claims that the number of people reporting a poor experience of mental health care in the community has increased.

The group warned of negative effects from further cuts - reporting that 40 per cent of trusts had their budgets reduced in the past two financial years.

It said: "As their financial position deteriorates, many mental health trusts are considering another wave of large-scale changes. This risks destabilising services further and reducing the quality of care for patients.”

Luke Daniels, a Partner and specialist in mental health claims at law firm, Irwin Mitchell, who has supported many people with mental health issues as well as their families, said that patient care should come before cost cutting.

Expert Opinion
“We have witnessed first-hand how problems in the delivery of mental health services can have catastrophic consequences for the welfare of patients and their loved ones.

“It is imperative the government realise that cuts to social care and the NHS may be putting lives at risk and prioritise making improvements to the mental health services it offers the public.

““Everyone should have a right to expect the highest attainable standard of mental health and when reducing cost is considered more important than patient care that right is compromised. This is unacceptable and the general public, particularly the vulnerable, deserve more.”
Luke Daniels, Partner

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.