Date Published: 20 October 2006
UK Doctors warn of psychiatric bed shortages
Sectioned mental health patients are staying at home for weeks because there are no beds in NHS hospitals, doctors are warning.
Leading consultant psychiatrist JS Bamrah told BMA News that doctors in England were recommending sectioning orders that could not be carried out. Some of the patients are at risk of self-harm and neglect, or might be a danger to others, he said, adding that social workers sometimes refused to visit the patients in their homes to carry out assessments because they did not feel safe.
Dr Bamrah said the bed shortage was particularly serious in London and Manchester.
Manchester consultant psychiatrist Alex Theodossiadis said the problem had grown in his area following a hospital closure.
" The safety risk for the patient and the public is obvious."
Source: British Medical Association (BMA).