‘High’ risk to patients due to regional bed shortage, CQC warns

The risk of a patient taking their life is “high” in West Midlands’ mental health trusts due to a shortage of acute beds, the Care Quality Commission has warned.

HSJ reported in November that a patient of Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health Foundation Trust had died from an “intentional overdose” while under the care of a home treatment team.

The coroner’s report into the death of Patricia Cleghorn said she may not have died if she had been admitted to hospital sooner.

In its response to Birmingham’s chief coroner, the CQC said: “There remains a shortage of acute beds in this trust and in other mental health trusts in this region. This shortage will continue to impact the most vulnerable people in the community.

“The provision of acute mental health beds rests with the trust and with the clinical commissioning groups… Whilst this shortage continues, the risk that another person will take his or her life remains high.”

The letter added that Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health FT has taken action to reduce risk through the creation of an “urgent care assessment team” and the use of “consultant psychiatrists to provide medical review”.

For full article see HSJ 10 February 2017