The decision to close big mental hospitals and treat patients in the community has failed to help the most vulnerable, according to a major new report from the Centre for Social Justice (CSJ).
At £6 billion a year, mental illness constitutes the biggest single cost item to the NHS but the report says services are failing to meet needs and change lives.
The report, which applies to England – although its findings will, say the report’s authors, resonate in Wales – also says the knock-on cost to the country of £105billon through higher general health and social care costs, lost working days and family breakdown is unsustainable in today’s economic climate.
The report states that:
• Treatment fails to reduce mental illness in more than two-thirds of cases, suggesting patients need much more than medication and therapy to get better and rebuild their lives.
• Many patients are being neglected and denied access to treatment because the closure of the old asylums was not accompanied by a parallel expansion of primary mental health services provided by GPs, psychiatrists and nurses.
• The poorest in society are those most likely to suffer mental ill-health. This is because the drivers and effects of poverty are also the drivers of mental ill-health which, in turn, leads to greater disadvantage.
To read more on the report and download a copy please visit: http://www.centreforsocialjustice.org.uk/