The number of beds in NHS mental health hospitals has fallen by a quarter since 2010, forcing more patients who are seriously ill to be taken far away from home in order to receive treatment, Labour has revealed.
Its analysis of official figures shows that the NHS in England now has almost 6,000 fewer beds for people with conditions such as schizophrenia or eating and personality disorders. There were 23,447 consultant-led mental health beds in 2010-11 and 17,610 in 2020-21, a reduction of 5,837 (25%).
The supply of beds for vulnerable patients needing urgent treatment has been cut despite a big rise in recent years in the number of people seeking help from the NHS for mental illness. The Covid pandemic is widely expected to lead to a surge in need for psychological and psychiatric help, with some experts anticipating a potential tripling of demand.
Source: The Guardian, Monday, 5th July, 2021
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