Figures released today are revealing the serious problem of delayed discharge from mental health trusts and the impact this is having on both the trusts and people who use them. Analysis has shown that over 17,500 bed days were lost in October 2016 alone with the main cause being a lack of social care and community support packages.
The voluntary and community mental health sector have a vital role in supporting people to leave hospital and help integrate back into the community and sustain settled accommodation. We are once again calling on the government to ensure the voluntary and community sector are included as an equal planning partner in mental health care provision and are properly supported to provide high quality, cost effective support to people in a sustainable way. Voluntary and community sector organisations are ideally placed to support people with mental health conditions and are able to support individuals not only when they leave statutory services but also prevent them entering in the first instance.
Kathy Roberts, Chief Executive of MHPF, said “Bed blocking and Social care pressures really emphasise the need to consider the whole system when looking at good mental health provision in the future. The VCSE have a crucial role and it is essential that the sector is understood and a utilised as an effective planning and delivery partner. Where we see this happening, we can see real benefits for people.”