Inpatient psychiatric services are losing out on staff and resources to community services despite being in high demand, according to research by a mental health watchdog published today.
A report by the Mental Health Act Commission found that over half of psychiatric in-patient wards were full or had more patients than beds.
It adds that wards were also understaffed and had unpleasant environments undermining the therapeutic purpose of inpatient admission.
The study goes on to highlight the potential for service users to be alienated by the government’s plans to extend the number of compulsory psychiatric services under the forthcoming Mental Health Act. It states that as a result it is also important that the government focuses on improving inpatient services which will in turn encourage people to use them.
The report concludes that in-patient services are in danger of becoming the ‘poor relation’ in what has historically been seen as the ‘Cinderella’ of health services.
In Place of Fear from: www.mhac.org.uk