News in brief: 20% cut in mental health beds

Almost one in five mental health beds has been cut in England since 1997, according to figures released by the Conservative Party. It claims that between the periods 1997/98 and 2005/6 the number of beds for the mentally ill dropped from 36,601 to 29,802. Shadow health secretary, Andrew Lansley said: ‘While the number of people sectioned has hit its highest level in history, the NHS financial crisis is forcing the closure of mental health beds throughout the country.’

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