One in four NHS trusts 'weak' on mental health

Almost a quarter of NHS trusts providing acute inpatient mental health services in England are rated as 'weak' by the Healthcare Commission today.

Its report rated 9 per cent of the 69 trusts as ‘excellent’, 28 per cent as ‘good’ and 40 per cent as ‘fair’.

Although the wards assessed in the review are for adults aged 18 to 65, most trusts could access advice and support from specialists in caring for young people and for older people, when needed.

This is the largest ever review of acute inpatient mental health services.

The report identified areas for action, in particular the improving the involvement of patients in their care. The Commission said that despite guidelines to include patients’ views in their care plans, this occurred in only half of cases.

It pointed to high levels of violence, with 45 per cent of nurses and 15 per cent of patients reporting that they were physically assaulted in 2007.

The report concluded that better co-ordination is needed to ensure that service users do not spend any longer in hospital than necessary and are supported when they move from hospital to community services.

neil.durham@haymarket.com

Healthcare Commission

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