Charity says cuts to mental health services cost the NHS millions

  • A report by Rethink Mental Illness has said that cuts to mental health care are costing the NHS millions of pounds.

    In the report, published with the London School of Economics, Rethink Mental Illness reveal that it is becoming a common occurrence for cases of psychosis and schizophrenia now ending up in hospital rather than being treated in the community./images/mentalhealth.jpg

    Cuts have meant that less people receive access to early intervention treatment, such as talking therapy, Rethink said.  They say if the NHS shifts their focus they could save more than £50m a year, reports the BBC.

    The report states that it costs on average £13 a day to support somebody with psychosis or schizophrenia within the community; however the cost of keeping a mental health patient in hospital is £350.

    The report also found that 54% of the psychosis budget was being spent on inpatient care rather than on preventative community services.

    The use of family therapy, cognitive behavioural therapy and peer support has been suggested in the report to cut long-term costs of care,

    Health Minister Norman Lamb said early access to treatment in the community was "often the best option" for people with psychosis and schizophrenia. He said: "Not only do they benefit from being in familiar surroundings among loved ones but they are less likely to need costly hospital stays."

    Mr Lamb called for a "shift of resources" to preventive care and said that the government had given NHS England a "clear objective" to put mental and physical health on a par.

    Dr Martin McShane, national director for long-term conditions at NHS England, said the report was "very helpful" and was supportive of what the organisation wanted to achieve.

    He said: "We recognise we must work to ensure that in everything we do mental health has parity of esteem with physical health. We have significantly invested in improving access to psychological therapies and dementia care."

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