The ArgusTravelling miles for mental health care (From The Argus)

Get involved: Send your news, views, pictures and video by texting SUPIC to 80360 or email us.

Travelling miles for mental health care

The Argus: Lisa Rodrigues Lisa Rodrigues

THE number of patients travelling out of Sussex for emergency mental health treatment has rocketed.

Figures show 227 seriously ill people had to be transferred out of the county |in the last year because there was no |suitable place for them closer to |home.

It is a sharp rise on the 28 patients referred elsewhere between April 2011 and March 2012 and the 90 referred in the same period for 2012 to 2013.

The details, released by the Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, show the cost of referrals out of the area rose from £83,000 to more than £1.1m over the same period.

The rise is part of a national change of more patients having to be transported long distances to get the treatment they need.

The situation has been branded scandalous by charities, who say more investment into mental health services is needed to ensure the right help is available locally.

The increase is said to be due to a rising demand for mental health services at a time when cuts are being made to community services.

Health bosses say people who rely on lower levels of support to maintain their lives are more likely to develop more serious problems if that help is lost.

It also means those having to go into hospital are often more unwell than before and end up staying in longer, putting extra pressure on beds.

A trust spokeswoman said: “As a trust we know that if people need to be in hospital with a mental health condition, the best thing for them is to be there for as short a time as possible and as close to home as they can be.

“We always do our very best to make sure that happens.

“Locally we are working with partners in local authorities, housing, social care, and commissioners and policy makers to try and make the whole system work better.

“However this is a national issue which affects mental health services across the country.

“It is not a ‘beds’ issue, it is about |providing people with accessible, high quality and compassionate care in the right place and at the right time for them and that is not necessarily in a hospital bed.”

Paul Farmer, chief executive at the charity Mind, said: “It is a disgrace that people with mental health problems are being sent miles away from family and friends or being accommodated in inappropriate settings when they are acutely unwell.

“This is the latest in a long line of clear signals that, at least in some parts of the country, NHS mental health services are in crisis.”

Comments (5)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

6:47am Wed 7 May 14

Juleyanne says...

The safety net has been pulled! mental health charities are struggling to cope leaving the suicidal two choices, Prozac or the Samaritans.
The safety net has been pulled! mental health charities are struggling to cope leaving the suicidal two choices, Prozac or the Samaritans. Juleyanne
  • Score: 4

7:40am Wed 7 May 14

jarmonesque says...

It is partly a beds issue Lisa, c'mon. Cuts to moderate need social care And diminishing, understaffed community teams are a massive causal factor too though.
It is partly a beds issue Lisa, c'mon. Cuts to moderate need social care And diminishing, understaffed community teams are a massive causal factor too though. jarmonesque
  • Score: 3

10:34am Wed 7 May 14

Goldenwight says...

Forget about those who have to travel out of the county for emergency care, there is a very real problem of people urgently in need of emergency care being denied it altogether.
Forget about those who have to travel out of the county for emergency care, there is a very real problem of people urgently in need of emergency care being denied it altogether. Goldenwight
  • Score: 1

9:37am Fri 9 May 14

are you serious! says...

“It is not a ‘beds’ issue, Are you serious? No really are you!
Of course it is! Ask any of the frontline staff( which I am one of ) and see what they say.If you close wards and diminish community services and say it is not a bed issue you are deluded.And sussexpartnership senior managers wonder why in the recent staff survey staff report Lisa and her gang are out of touch.I love my job but this sort of statement just angers me....and if anyone says openly it is a bed issue they are told they are being negative or similar patronising infantilising comments.Oh and why I'm at it please allow the internal weekly email from Lisa saying everything shiny to be blocked by an individual if they choose.
“It is not a ‘beds’ issue, Are you serious? No really are you! Of course it is! Ask any of the frontline staff( which I am one of ) and see what they say.If you close wards and diminish community services and say it is not a bed issue you are deluded.And sussexpartnership senior managers wonder why in the recent staff survey staff report Lisa and her gang are out of touch.I love my job but this sort of statement just angers me....and if anyone says openly it is a bed issue they are told they are being negative or similar patronising infantilising comments.Oh and why I'm at it please allow the internal weekly email from Lisa saying everything shiny to be blocked by an individual if they choose. are you serious!
  • Score: 1

10:05am Fri 9 May 14

are you serious! says...

More than two thirds of respondents (68 per cent) said the working culture at Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust was ‘signified by traits of blame, fear and bullying’.

Almost half (44 per cent) criticised management, with 32 per cent saying senior managers and the trust’s board were out of touch with the front line – and 53 per cent felt the senior managers should spend more time alongside front line staff.

Around a quarter (26 per cent) said they felt they are patronised or treated like children. And 53 per cent raised issues relating to the amount of workload being too high for the staffing in place.

Only nine per cent said they were proud to work for the NHS and just 21 per cent of respondents felt they had a good relationship with their line manager.

A lack of trust in staff from management was raised by 32 per cent, while 47 per cent felt they were not consulted or enabled to have a voice. And 21 per cent felt their ability to communicate upwards was blocked, ideas were not heeded, or it was unsafe to ask questions. Thirty-five per cent just asked for the blame culture to be stopped.

Mrs Rodrigues said: “There were some extremely positive findings
More than two thirds of respondents (68 per cent) said the working culture at Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust was ‘signified by traits of blame, fear and bullying’. Almost half (44 per cent) criticised management, with 32 per cent saying senior managers and the trust’s board were out of touch with the front line – and 53 per cent felt the senior managers should spend more time alongside front line staff. Around a quarter (26 per cent) said they felt they are patronised or treated like children. And 53 per cent raised issues relating to the amount of workload being too high for the staffing in place. Only nine per cent said they were proud to work for the NHS and just 21 per cent of respondents felt they had a good relationship with their line manager. A lack of trust in staff from management was raised by 32 per cent, while 47 per cent felt they were not consulted or enabled to have a voice. And 21 per cent felt their ability to communicate upwards was blocked, ideas were not heeded, or it was unsafe to ask questions. Thirty-five per cent just asked for the blame culture to be stopped. Mrs Rodrigues said: “There were some extremely positive findings are you serious!
  • Score: 1

Comments are closed on this article.

click2find

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree