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Lack of effective support led to hospital admissions say mental health patients

A survey of mental health service users has found that they were admitted to a mental hospital ward due to lack of coordinated support services.

The survey, carried out by Mind in Croydon, on behalf of Healthwatch Croydon, showed that a lack of support contributed to their admission to a Bethlem Royal Hospital ward between December 2014 and April 2015. Issues included: self-care advice over medications and treatment; not being listened to; and not being given effective personal support over personal relationships. Added to this was a heavy-handed use of legal measures and an inconsistent development and application of care plans.

One in six were not aware of their reason for their admittance to hospital with 12% believing that their admission was related to drug or alcohol usage.

Issues relating to the mental health contributed to their hospital admission according to 64% of participants: with 65% related to medication, 33% to treatment and 28% to access to GP or care coordinator services, showing a lack in effective support.

Not listened to: 58% of participants said management of their care contributed to their admission and a similar number stated that their views and wishes were not taken into account or that they were not listened to at all.

Not supported in managing relationships: 59% of those surveyed said issues in managing personal relationships contributed to their hospital admission and that support in these personal problems could have helped them overcome these issues and avoid a hospital stay.

Heavy-handed application of the law: 48% of participants identified that legal issues contributed to their hospital admission, with 69% related to the police and 52% to the application of the Mental Health Act.

Lack of effective recovery plan, or plan was ignored: 70% were not even aware that they even had a Recovery Plan or Care Programme (CPA) Care Plan. Of the 30% that were aware, only 8% said that the healthcare professionals had consulted a Recovery Plan which they had been involved in developing, prior to their admission.

Charlie Ladyman, CEO of Healthwatch Croydon said: “With significant pressure on mental health service providers to be more effective, our research shows we need to take a wider and more holistic approach to delivering mental health services in the community rather than leaving the acute hospitals to manage patients as a last resort. A range of joined-up support services can take the pressure of the wards and save resources, but more importantly, deliver a better service for those who need it the most.”

Download the report