Mental Health Care System is “struggling to cope”

The Care Quality Commission (“CQC”) have recently released a report which reveals the troubling news that the mental health care system in the UK is “struggling to cope” and unable to provide sufficient care to those who urgently need assistance, including those who are suicidal, having severe panic attacks or psychotic episodes.

The most unsettling part of the report stated there was a “lack of compassion” for A&E staff.

The review was based on surveys of patients, analysis of national data and inspections of services and it found that out of the 1.8m people who sought help for a mental health crisis, 42% of patients did not get the help they needed.

Some of the common issues were:

  • Lack of compassion and warmth
  • Patients concerns were not taken seriously
  • Patients did not receive adequate assistance
  • Patients were waiting unacceptable times for assistance

Paul Farmer, chief executive of Mind, the mental health charity, said: “The report will not come as a surprise to anyone who has found themselves in crisis or who is involved in supporting people when they are at their most unwell.

“We take for granted that when we have a physical health emergency we will get the help we need urgently. It should be no different for mental health.”

Care Minister Alistair Burt said the government was trying to tackle the problems in mental health with its new treatment targets and extra funding that were both announced before the election.

“Improving mental health care is my priority,” he added.

Whilst it can be appreciated that A&E staff have to deal with life or death situations involving more physical circumstances resulting from serious accidents, the fact that an individual is suffering from a serious mental illness can also pose as high a risk, and should be dealt with in the same manner.

 

 

 

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