Half of psychiatric in-patient wards full, report says

Inpatient psychiatric services are losing out on staff and resources to community services, according to a mental health watchdog report published yesterday.

The Mental Health Act Commission’s In Place of Fear report also stated more than half of psychiatric in-patient wards were full or had more patients than beds.

It also stated that more than half of the wards were understaffed and had unpleasant, often untherapeutic, environments.

The commission’s report also highlights concern that psychiatrict patients in some private hospitals “may be at risk” at times of emergency because of lack of doctors either on site or within easy reach.

The commissions call is for guidelines on cover arrangements, and states that NHS patients in private units “should receive no less a service in terms of medical staffing than would be available on NHS facilities”.

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