BASW: Mental health crisis "on the level of Mid-Staffs"
As a joint BBC/ Community Care magazine investigation reveals a disturbing lack of beds available for people with mental health needs, BASW has likened the situation to a "crisis on the level of Mid-Staffs".
The results of a series of Freedom of Information (FoI) requests showed a minimum of 1,711 mental health beds have been closed since April 2011, including 277 between April and August 2013, representing a 9% reduction in the total number of mental health beds available.
Community Care journalist Andy McNicoll, who undertook the investigation, said the findings showed that "demand for crisis services is outstripping the NHS’s shrinking bed supply".
Faye Wilson, Chair of BASW England's Mental Health Reference Group, said failure to address the situation risked a “crisis on the level of Mid Staffs”, referring to the Staffordshire hospital care scandal.
She added: “If we were treating cancer patients like this there would be a national outcry. Yet here we have a national problem in mental health and it feels like no-one is listening.”
BBC News and Community Care sent FoI requests to 53 of England's 58 mental health trusts; 46 trusts replied.