Lack of support leads to Croydon hospital admissions, say mental health patients

By - Thursday 20th August, 2015

A survey of mental health service users in Croydon has suggested that hospital admissions could be avoided if users received more appropriate care at an earlier stage.

Image by Health Watch Croydon, used with permission.

Release begins: A survey of Croydon’s mental health service users has found that they were admitted to a mental hospital ward due to lack of coordinated support services. The survey, carried out by Mind in Croydon, on behalf of Healthwatch Croydon, showed that a lack of support contributed to their admission to a Bethlem Royal Hospital ward between December 2014 and April 2015. Issues included: self-care advice over medications and treatment; not being listened to; and not being given effective personal support over personal relationships. Added to this was a heavy-handed use of legal measures and an inconsistent development and application of care plans.

One in six were not aware of their reason for their admittance to hospital with 12% believing that their admission was related to drug or alcohol usage.

Issues relating to the mental health contributed to their hospital admission according to 64% of participants: with 65% related to medication, 33% to treatment and 28% to access to GP or care coordinator services, showing a lack in effective support.

Not listened to: 58% of participants said management of their care contributed to their admission and a similar number stated that their views and wishes were not taken into account or that they were not listened to at all.

Not supported in managing relationships: 59% of those surveyed said issues in managing personal relationships contributed to their hospital admission and that support in these personal problems could have helped them overcome these issues and avoid a hospital stay.

Heavy-handed application of the law: 48% of participants identified that legal issues contributed to their hospital admission, with 69% related to the police and 52% to the application of the Mental Health Act.

Lack of effective recovery plan, or plan was ignored: 70% were not even aware that they even had a Recovery Plan or Care Programme (CPA) Care Plan. Of the 30% that were aware, only 8% said that the healthcare professionals had consulted a Recovery Plan which they had been involved in developing, prior to their admission.

Charlie Ladyman, CEO of Healthwatch Croydon said: “With significant pressure on mental health service providers to be more effective, our research shows we need to take a wider and more holistic approach to delivering mental health services in the community rather than leaving the acute hospitals to manage patients as a last resort. A range of joined-up support services can take the pressure of the wards and save resources, but more importantly, deliver a better service for those who need it the most.”

Release ends.

Release sender: Health Watch Croydon.



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