Browse other personalized gifts from Zazzle.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Who are the mad ones?

So, the news is that £7 million is going to be cut from the budgets of mental health services in Sheffield. To 'balance the books', of course.

Losing 1/4 of the inpatient beds doesn't sound like a good plan to me. I intend to never be an inpatient on a psychiatric ward again, and I wouldn't wish it on others, but the wards are always chock full and people on 'leave' come back to the ward to find their bed has gone to someone else. Admission over. People who may want or need to be on a ward already can't always get a bed. And by my calculations, a quarter of the beds means one of the four acute wards. Closing one ward within two years, when all four are virtually always overfull, is ridiculous.

And, as if it wasn't ridiculous enough,
Proposals include reducing the number of hospital beds for mental health patients by a quarter, whilst at the same time delaying investment in community-based services intended to avoid expensive treatments such as hospital admissions.


So, get rid of an inpatient ward. THEN get rid of the services which try to help people stay as well as they can, as a way of preventing admissions.

So... fewer beds. Less help to services which help to avoid filling beds.

So... more beds needed. More beds needed.

If they are going to get rid of acute inpatient beds, then the services which can help to provide preventative, or respite, or community day-to-day support (which can help keep people out of hospital) need to be increased, bloody idiots, not cut. Oh, sorry, delayed investment. Hmmm.

And, all of this is happening when the government says it is focussing on mental health as a priority. When the government wants to throw disabled people into poverty, aka get people off disability benefits and into work. With no care and support, right? Yeah, that'll work.

Outcry over £7m mental health cuts
By Kate Lahive
HEALTH chiefs are at loggerheads over plans to slash £7 million off mental health service budgets in Sheffield, it is claimed.
Plans have been drawn up for a series of financial cutbacks over the next two years, which could result in the number of hospital beds for mental health patients being reduced and investment in community services being delayed.
The Liberal Democrats are accusing Sheffield Primary Care Trust, which holds the purse strings, of forcing the savings on Sheffield Care Trust, which delivers mental health services.
Proposals include reducing the number of hospital beds for mental health patients by a quarter, whilst at the same time delaying investment in community-based services intended to avoid expensive treatments such as hospital admissions.
Health bosses say discussions on the finances remain underway.
Councillor Ian Auckland, the Lib Dem's shadow cabinet member for adult services, said: "In targeting mental health services, a vulnerable group is being attacked through cuts imposed by the Labour Government.
"This disagreement between local health bodies is a direct result of the NHS cash crisis brought about by government reforms. These cuts, which are being forced through, will be bad news for local service users and will have a detrimental effect on local services."
Kevan Taylor, chief executive of Sheffield Care Trust, said discussions are continuing.
He said: "This week we have received some very detailed proposals from Sheffield Primary Care Trust regarding their funding proposals for mental health in the year ahead. We are now carefully considering these proposals before making a final response."
In a statement Sheffield Primary Care Trust said it needed to reduce its spending by around five per cent over all its service areas, including mental health, and it has a duty to achieve financial balance.
But it says the reductions in the Trust's budget are in proportion to the overall budgets.



---
Technorati tags: ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; .

2 comments:

McBeth said...

it has a duty to achieve financial balance

HA! Triple ha!
Well it's remarkably clear to me that Sheffield Primary Care Trust has their ducks squarely in a row and that their priorities are all in such fantastic order.

That's one of those things when I can't decide whether to keep laughing or sit down and have a good cry.

incurable hippie said...

Oh McB I know exactly what you mean!