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Farron: bed-blocking figures show more mental health support needed

January 6, 2017 6:21 PM

Bed-blocking at the NHS Trust in charge of mental health in Cumbria has risen by almost 60% over the last year. South Lakes MP Tim Farron is calling on the government to do more to support mental health care in the community and social care to free up space on wards.

Research by the Liberal Democrats has shown that across the UK, delays in mental health patients being discharged from hospital have soared over the past year, due to a lack of follow-up support in the community. Nationally, the rise in days lost at mental health trusts was 56%, compared to 30% at acute hospitals.

In Cumbria, mental health services are provided by the Cumbria Partnership NHS Foundation Trust. Between November 2015 and October 2016, the number of bed days lost at the Trust due to delayed discharge rose by 57%, to over 2000 days.

Tim said: "These figures show that the government's failure to properly fund mental health services and social care is backfiring badly. Mental health patients are left stuck in hospital because the services they need are not available, putting the hospitals under even more pressure. When there are no beds left available, patients have to be sent longer and longer distances to hospitals out of their area.

"With huge cuts planned for our health service, and growing pressure on social care, the pressure on services will only increase. The government must recognise the urgent need for more funding for our health and social care systems."