The Care Quality Commission has reviewed the help given to those who are in a mental health crisis and has concluded that the system is struggling to cope and that people are receiving inadequate support. Worryingly, it also highlighted what has been described as a ‘lack of compassion’ from A&E staff.
Last year, 1.8 million people in the UK sought help for a mental health crisis yet little is being done to improve the situation. The review was based on patient surveys, an analysis of national data and inspections of services and found that 42% of patients are not getting the help they need. Just over a third of patients who ended up in A&E said that they had been treated with warmth and compassion and a similar proportion said that their concerns had been taken seriously.
Even dedicated crisis-resolution teams only did a little better with fewer than half of patients responding positively to each question. CQC’s Mental Health Lead, Dr Paul Lelliott said that while the report did show some excellent examples of care, the findings must act as a wake-up call:
“Worryingly, many people told us that when they were having a crisis they often felt the police and ambulance crews were more caring and took their concerns more seriously than the medical and mental health professionals they encountered.”
The Chief Executive of Mind commented that once again this is a reminder that physical health emergencies are taken seriously but those with mental health problems are still struggling to get the care and urgency they need.
If you think that you or someone you know could be suffering with a mental health condition, please feel free to visit our website for more information about anxiety, depression, eating disorders, addiction and much more. You can also contact us for help today.