Magazine article Public Finance

Concerns Raised over Service Levels at Mental Health Trusts

Magazine article Public Finance

Concerns Raised over Service Levels at Mental Health Trusts

Article excerpt

All mental health trusts providing inpatient care have room to make their services more personal, efficient and safe, according to the Healthcare Commission.

The commission carried out the largest-ever review of acute inpatient mental health services, assessing all 69 trusts in England on their care of patients aged between 18 and 65. Its report, The pathway to recovery, published on July 23, said there were wide variations between trusts and between wards in the same trust.

Overall, eight trusts were rated excellent' (accounting for 9% of beds), 20 as good' (28%), 30 as 'fair' (40%) and 11 as 'weak' (23%). Weak trusts were more likely to be larger and serve an urban, more deprived population.

The trusts were assessed on four criteria: whether they had an effective care pathway from appropriate admission to timely discharge; personalised care; patients' involvement in their personal care plans; and adequate safety measures. No trust scored excellent' on all four measures.

The report raised a number of concerns, including high levels of violence and the absence without authorisation of patients detained under the Mental Health Act 1983 on 2,745 occasions over a six-month period. …

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