Leading psychiatrist, Dr. Martin Baggaley, has declared that England’s mental health service is currently unsafe and went as far as to say that it is was in a state of crisis. Baggaley is the medical director of the South London and Maudsley NHS Trust and spoke out about the poor shape of mental health in Britain and commented right after a new investigation conducted by Community Care magazine and BBC News found that as many as 1,500 mental health beds have been removed throughout the last few years.
According to Norman Lamb the Care Minister, the shape of mental health in England is not acceptable and there have to be improvements made to the situation in the future. Although Lamb said that there has been a lot of progress made in making sure that more people are getting treated within communities, more effort must be made to make sure that there are beds available at all times.
According to figures released by BBC News and Community Care since April 2011 a total of 1,711 mental health beds have been closed down. Out of these 277 were closed this year between the months of April and August. The total reduction means that there are 9% less mental health beds in 2013 compared to the available amount in 2012.
About 75% of the beds closed were found in acute adult wards, psychiatric intensive care units, and older people’s wards. St. George’s and South West London took away 155 beds and Tyne, Northumberland, and Wear NHS Trust removed about 157 inpatient beds. Patients most often are the ones that are affected the most by bed closures, but staff are also affected as this also eliminates positions at many hospitals. Many times a patient must be transported at a time when they are not emotionally stable for the transfer.