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Cole-Hamilton: Mental health discharge waits are a national disgrace

August 3, 2017 11:00 AM
Originally published by Scottish Liberal Democrats

Scottish Liberal Democrat health spokesperson Alex Cole-Hamilton MSP has today called mental health delayed discharges a national disgrace after new figures revealed that someone in Scotland has waited 1200 days to be discharged from a mental health unit after being declared ready to leave.

Figures by the BBC revealed that three Scottish health boards had patients wait more than three years to be moved out of a mental health unit despite being declared ready to leave. At least 19 patients have waited more than a year to be discharged from health units in Scotland over the past two years and one health board had more than a quarter of available mental health inpatient beds taken up by someone who had been delayed.

Commenting Mr Cole-Hamilton said:

"Despite nearly a decade in social care I have never encountered before such a dereliction of care for the needs and interests for patients in need of help. This is a national disgrace and a severe violation of human rights. Mental health units by necessity are secure so these people have been deprived of their liberty.

"These figures represent the dire consequences of historic under-funding of mental health with no evidence to show that situation is going to change anytime soon. This situation is only going to get worse without a substantial increase in investment.

"Only the Liberal Democrats have set out a comprehensive and positive plan that will deliver a step change in mental health. This includes ending the under-funding of mental health, new units for children and more professionals at more locations capable of delivering therapies."