Concern over mental patient readmissions
POLITICIANS yesterday called for more to be done to help mental health patients to adapt to living in the community after new figures revealed that last year there were more than 1,300 cases where people were readmitted to mental health hospitals within 28 days of being discharged.
The figures showed that 1,331 cases involved patients being readmitted within 28 days of discharge – almost one tenth of the total number of mental health discharges in 2011.
The Scottish Government statistics were obtained by the Liberal Democrats, who called for action from ministers to tackle the issue.
Party leader Willie Rennie MSP said: “This cycle of readmissions is damaging for the well-being of mental health patients and their families and puts further pressure on the NHS.”
The figures were provided by Health Secretary Nicola Sturgeon in answer to a written question from Alison McInnes MSP, the Lib Dems’ spokeswoman on health.
They revealed that there were 14,647 discharges from mental health hospitals in Scotland in 2011.
In percentage terms, Dumfries and Galloway NHS board had the highest readmission rate at 14 per cent. Grampian and Lanarkshire were next at around 10 per cent each.
The Lib Dems said the figures underlined the need for the Scottish Government to focus on effective community care for mental health patients once they leave hospital.
“Nearly 10 per cent of all mental health patients were readmitted within 28 days after discharge. This must be tackled,” Rennie said.
“When it comes to mental health, there is no quick fix. Those with mental health problems need to be cared for in the way that suits their needs best.
“This is why the Scottish Government must make sure that sufficient support is available in the community they are being discharged to. This includes support for the individual, their families and carers.”
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