Jim Hume MSP: Scottish mental health units ‘struggling to cope’

From the Scotsman today:

More than 4,000 patients have been sent for mental health treatment outside their health board area in the past five years, according to latest figures.

The Scottish Liberal Democrats, who obtained the figures through parliamentary questions, have warned that mental health units across Scotland are struggling to cope with demand.

The figures show that, in 2013-14, a total of 799 patients were discharged from a psychiatric hospital in a different area from where they live. This compares with 793 in 2012-13 and 855 the year before that.

The Lib Dems have called for action to tackle the issue. The party’s health spokesman, Jim Hume MSP, said: “Whilst there will always be some patients who need to be sent to specialist clinics outside of their health board for treatment, it is clear that mental health units across the country are struggling to cope with demand on their services

You can read the full article here.

* News Meerkat - keeping a look-out for Liberal Democrat news. Meerkat photo by Paul Walter

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  • I’ve just been told that an appointment to see a councillor after I tried to take my own life ,will be five years due to the back log . They said that drugs will not work because for some reason I get a nasty reaction to the medication being already severely disabled unable to find a job and simple feeling depressed it all got to much for me. So my GP said i will phone up get an appointment to get you help, and they said five years in Wales that is.

    If you have somebody living in England and you can move for q while you may get it faster.

  • Stephen Campbell 17th Aug '15 - 12:27pm

    Whilst I applaud the Lib Dem’s commitment to mental health and the work Norman Lamb did whilst in the coalition, it didn’t help at all in my own personal experience.

    Mental health services in my area of England became steadily worse during the past 5 years. I used to have routine appointments with my psychiatrist every two months. The crisis team was always there and available if it was needed. Slowly my appointments became once every three months. Then four. Then down to twice a year even though I still needed them more than ever. Cancellations were frequent. I don’t even get to see a regular psychiatrist any longer, which is distressing. I’m always having to go over things repeatedly to new doctors who simply don’t have time to read my entire case file. I’ve been waiting several years for counseling sessions and still no appointment. I know the crisis team itself is now in crisis. People who are worse than I am tell me they can only get crisis help if they are a in danger of harming other people (note: not even if they are harming themselves). Services are now very fragmented with many of them being farmed off to private providers.

    Many critics of the NHS “reforms” which your party helped to pass warned of these risks. People such as myself campaigned against the “reforms”; begged your party to not let them pass. Many, many NHS workers warned the government these “reforms” would have negative consequences for patients. As usual, experts and patients were ignored.

    I do not vote Labour and I have no love for them. But under their government, mental health services were, in my experience, very good. Not excellent, but a damn sight better than the mess I find them in now. Now they’re rubbish and the help I need just isn’t there any longer.

  • Stephen Campbell 17th Aug '15 - 4:26pm
  • John Roffey 17th Aug '15 - 5:13pm

    Robert and Stephen – I am truly very sorry to hear of your predicaments.

    In truth the article posted by Stephen does clearly show that compassion has been, quite rapidly, removed from our lives by the Tories. Compassion has been at the heart of most religions – certainly Christianity and Buddhism. However, spirituality has been crushed at every opportunity by the current and previous regimes.

    If you are not Christians – may I suggest you visit the site of the Dalai Lama at times when you feel at your lowest – just to remind yourselves that it is primarily our ruling class who seem devoid of compassion – and that it is in great condition in many places away from our shores!


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