Report claims care in the community has failed to help the most vulnerable

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: