Association of Mental Health Providers

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Mental Health Patients Stranded in Units

BBC News has revealed that mental health patients across the UK are spending years stranded in acute units awaiting discharge, with at least 91 patients having waited more than a year to be discharged and at least 7 patients waiting more than 2 years. The BBC Freedom of Information requests also show that at least 320 patients had to wait at least 100 days to be discharged. In England, the longest delay recorded was 1,159 days, for a 62-year old patient, and in Wales, the longest delay was 975 days. Royal College of Psychiatrists suggested that disagreements between different health bodies over how to fund a patient’s placement could lead to delay, adding that the benefits cap was making it harder for providers to meet demand for accommodation for patients in the community. NHS England commented that the NHS was now increasing alternatives to hospital admissions and that an extra £400 million in funding for crisis resolution home treatment teams, as well as investment in community mental health services had been made available.