North East closing one in four mental health beds
- 02 Jul
It has been revealed that one in four mental health beds have been closed since 2010 in the North East.
Freedom of Information requests have found that two NHS mental health trusts in the North East have closed 630 of their 2,392 beds, reports the BBC.
NHS bosses have said that they have invested further in providing community care facilities, however charities fear that fewer beds could add to the suicide levels, which are already the highest in the UK.
Lynn Boyd, from Mental Health North East, said the closures by Northumberland, Tyne and Wear and Tees, Esk and Wear Valley NHS Trusts were creating additional pressures for those with mental health illnesses. She said: "There has been lots of good work done to provide care in the community but we are hugely concerned that these bed closures will mean that those in real need of care in the future will be deprived of it."
John Lawlor, the chief executive of the Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Trust, said: "We don't close beds without being clear that there are alternative services available.
"About 96% of the people we support do not need to come into an inpatient ward so every time we close a ward that means there's more money to invest in community services."
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