Is the Mental Health Service in England Unsafe?

Is the Mental Health Service in England Unsafe?

With the closure of more than 1500 mental health beds in recent years, and the revelation of the fact that over a third of illnesses are mental illnesses, there would be a strong case to suggest that the mental health service in England is unsafe. 

Often overlooked in the wake of other, more obvious physical illnesses, mental health issues can be just as debilitating, if not more so, than their physical counterparts. This is why the government stated back in June that mental illnesses need to be valued as much as physical illnesses, with Norman Lamb stating: “We need to ‘close the gap’ with physical health services – whether that’s a gap in access, in quality, in research, or even in the aspirations we have for people.”

However with a BBC report stating that between April and August 2013, 277 mental health beds have been closed, it shows a lack of impetus to deal with the issue of mental health.

Couple this with the fact that over 80,000 patients had to wait over 4 weeks to be seen, and it shows there is a distinct lack of support in England. The even more worrying fact is that 3 in 4 patients with mental health illnesses are not even treated. So what lies ahead for these silent sufferers? Unless the government pulls through with its promises to tackle mental health issues then they face longer waits, a continued lack of beds and an ongoing struggle to get diagnosed.

For those patients who are facing long waits and suffering from negligence when it comes to mental health, you are as entitled to compensation as those suffering from negligence when it comes to physical illnesses. Field Fisher Waterhouse are trusted solicitors who are experts at dealing with such cases, and can help those who are suffering from negligence get the compensation they deserve.

It is also frustrating for the professionals who are treating patients. Whilst they want to help, they are restricted; with patients spanning many miles who therefore cannot receive the timely care they require. With patients often feeling embarrassed to see specialists, when they finally build up the courage to go and are unable to be seen due to lack of infrastructure, it only further compounds the issues they face.

The government needs to ensure people suffering from these types of illnesses need more places where they can go and talk to people about how they’re feeling and their symptoms, with support for charities such as the Mental Health Foundation.

For further help and advice on mental health conditions and where you can turn for help, as well as self-help strategies, please see our guides above.

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