Lack of mental health crisis beds a ‘national scandal’ – HSJ Exclusive

Mental health chiefs have branded a shortage of acute beds for crisis care a “national scandal”, and said extra cash ringfenced by NHS England is not reaching the front line.

In a report being published this week, shared exclusively with HSJ, the Mental Health Network said trusts are reporting occasions when there are no acute assessment beds available across the country.

Bev Humphrey: ‘There is a gap between the rhetoric of government and the lack of material support’

The Is mental health crisis care in crisis? report said the lack of beds suggests that “despite political rhetoric, mental health is not yet taken seriously as a priority”.

Network chair Bev Humphrey said mental health crisis care is at “tipping point” and that new services pledged in the Five Year Forward View for Mental Health such as A&E liaison psychiatry and 24/7 community teams were “patchy and underdeveloped”.

Ms Humphrey, who is also chief executive of Greater Manchester West Mental Health Foundation Trust, added: “This is a national scandal and the impact on individuals and their families can be huge.

Full story in the HSJ 13 October 2016