Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to a newer version or another browser.


Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

Cuts to hospital beds for mentally-ill linked to increased involuntary detentions

  • 1 Comment

Cuts to the number of beds available for mentally-ill patients has corresponded with a rise in the numbers detained involuntarily, experts have said.

Researchers analysed data from 1988 to 2008 in England and found the number of beds for the mentally-ill decreased by 62% over the period while the rate of detentions in psychiatric units increased by 64%.

There have been moves to treat more mentally-ill people in the community, resulting in cuts to the number of inpatient mental health beds at NHS hospitals.

Community services include mental health teams, outreach programmes, home treatment in a crisis and early intervention services.

The authors said: “The annual reduction in provision of mental illness beds was associated with the rate of involuntary admissions over the short to medium term, with the closure of two mental illness beds leading to one additional involuntary admission in the subsequent year.”

The authors suggested more closures could occur in the drive to save money.

They added: “In the present economic climate, further closure of inpatient beds seems the most likely strategy for funding improvements in community-based mental health services.”

However, they said the research does not suggest that bed closures “are intrinsically inappropriate”.

They added: “This strategy may well be a reasonable course of action; but the bed mix needs to be examined more closely and the rate and consequences of bed closures may need to be considered more carefully.”


  • 1 Comment

Readers' comments (1)

  • Any Acute Nurse working wards struggling to find beds, seeing patients admitted with higher levels of acute illness, being discharged too early, having close observations on more patients than staff could have supplied this information. BEFORE CONSIDERING ANY MORE BEDS BEING CUT CONSIDER THE CONSEQUENCES OF THE SERIOUS INCIDENT WAITING TO HAPPEN

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions. Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.