Psychiatric Hospitals: Hospital Beds

Department of Health and Social Care written question – answered on 28th February 2019.

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Photo of Luciana Berger Luciana Berger Independent, Liverpool, Wavertree

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he plans to take to tackle the shortage of psychiatric beds in hospitals.

Photo of Jackie Doyle-Price Jackie Doyle-Price The Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Health and Social Care

We are clear that acute beds must always be available for people who need them, but providers also have a responsibility to offer care in the community as well as in hospitals. The Five Year Forward View for Mental Health set out how the National Health Service will provide more safe, evidence-based alternatives to inpatient beds in the form of intensive community treatment teams, which reduce the number of admissions, and, most importantly, enable patients to be treated closer to home.

There are many different types of mental health bed – from high secure beds in special hospitals to psychiatric intensive care, open rehabilitation beds and recovery houses. The right mix of these beds, and of services that can be delivered in out-patient and non-residential community settings or in people’s homes, will vary by area according to local need.

In February 2016, the Commission on Acute Adult Psychiatric Care published a final report, ‘Old Problems, New Solutions: Improving acute inpatient psychiatric care for adults in England’, which highlighted that the ‘admission crisis’ is not simply due to a reduction of beds, but rather relates to hospital discharge issues and the lack of community care and alternatives to admission. The report is available via the following link:

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