We would recommend people to read the recently published report of the National Confidential Inquiry into Suicide and Homicide by People with Mental Illness.(2013) It describes how the suicide rate has risen since 2011 whereas before it was falling.The report states that since 2006 there have been more patient suicides under Crisis Resolution/Home Treatment Teams than in in-patient care. ” In many of these cases CR/HT will have been used to allow earlier discharge rather than as an alternative to admission.”
GIVEN THE SHORTAGE OF INPATIENT BEDS ONE CAN IMAGINE THE PRESSURE THAT CLINICIANS ARE UNDER TO DISCHARGE PATIENTS BEFORE IT IS SAFE TO DO SO AND BEFORE ADEQUATE AFTER_CARE PLANS ARE IN PLACE.
Further key findings and service recommendations of the National Confidential Inquiry (2013) are:
– maintain services for dual diagnosis patients
= address the economic difficulties of patients who might be at risk of suicide
– improve safety in CRHTs as a priority for suicide prevention in mental health care; particular caution is needed with patients who live alone or refuse treatment and when patients are discharged from hospital into CRHT.
– INTRODUCE OR MAINTAIN ASSERTIVE OUTREACH SERVICES
These are just some of the recommendations. How many of these recommendations are undermined by the Trust’s Service Strategy?
Some categories of mental health patient may be being affected more than others at least more than has been publicly acknowledged. As one of the quietly but severely depressed and quite regularly suicidal population, I am completely abandoned. It is easy to ignore us as we don’t wave knives around, we don’t make a lot of noise nor indulge in antisocial behaviour, and we frequently live alone and have no-one to ring up, make a fuss and get an urgent assessment/admission carried out. There have been stories about patients having to go a long way from home to go into hospital; these patients and their carers should be enormously grateful for the care and the hospital bed regardless of where it is geographically located. Everyone needs to be realistic – if there is no bed in the county then there are only two options – take a bed elsewhere or struggle on at home like most of the rest of us. There is not enough to go around for anyone but those who receive help should make the best use of it they can and remember there are lots of people in Norfolk and Suffolk being left unassessed or discharged without treatment! Why also do people “known” to services get priority over those who aren’t?
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