Mental health patients turned away after beds removed by South West London and St George's NHS Mental Health Trust

Sutton Guardian: Springfield Hospital, Tooting Springfield Hospital, Tooting

Mental health patients are being turned away from hospital after South West London and St George's NHS Mental Health Trust (SWLSTG) removed more than 150 beds in the past two years.

Data revealed in a joint investigation by Community Care magazine and BBC News found the trust, which operates from nearly 100 locations has removed 177 beds from 18 wards and closed five.

Figures released by 28 mental health trusts around the country show they are running at an average of more than 100 per cent capacity, well above the recommended 85 per cent level.

SWLSTG failed to answer a Freedom of Information request on occupancy levels, but admitted they have closed 177 beds in the past two years.

An annual report stated the trust had just 430 beds to deal with the 2,500 inpatients admitted in 2012/13.

Seacole ward, in the trust's head quarters Springfield Hospital, Tooting, was one of the worst affected wards with 22 beds removed in 2011.

The adult acute ward, which treats young adults aged up to 23-years-old, now only has eight beds with money being pumped into home treatment instead.

Petersham Lodge, located in Barnes Hospital, Worple Way, Barnes, also had 22 beds closed from 2011 to 2012.

The drugs and alcohol service in Springfield Hospital was decommissioned in 2012 losing 13 beds, as well as rehab centres Burntwood Villas, Earlsfield, and Southbank House, Surbiton.

Secure ward Ellis (Gaskell) closed in 2012, while learning disabilities service The Jasmine's Centre, in Tolworth, closed this year and lost 11 beds

Other reasons for removals include new wards built with less beds to make room for better quality facilities, fewer patients being admitted and moving services to other wards.

Gerry Horner, of Keep Our NHS Public , said: "One observer has told us of seeing patients on an admission ward being transferred to other wards or even to other hospitals, thus disrupting their treatment, in order to make way for new arrivals.

"One new patient admitted under section was observed waiting for hours before a bed, which had been booked, actually became available.

"Such a situation would obviously impair the ability of nurses and doctors to re- assure and welcome new patients."

A spokeswoman from SWLSTG said: "Most of this reduction has been due to reinvestment in Crisis Home and Treatment Teams leading to a reduction in bed use and closure of wards.

"Hospital admission is only used when absolutely necessary. Furthermore, we do not routinely move people into mental health beds outside South West London.

"We do not currently have any out-of-area acute placements for adults or older adults.

"We have briefly utilised privately owned accommodation when wards are being reconfigured and are not intending to use this measure again as we have sufficient space on our wards."

Comments (6)

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11:31am Wed 23 Oct 13

Niki R says...

In the UK over 1170 mental health beds have been lost since August 2012, or 9% of the beds available nationally. This Government have an agenda on mental health services that is as destructive as that of the Tory Government of the 1980s- let people in dire need fend for themselves as they are too expensive. It's disgusting.
In the UK over 1170 mental health beds have been lost since August 2012, or 9% of the beds available nationally. This Government have an agenda on mental health services that is as destructive as that of the Tory Government of the 1980s- let people in dire need fend for themselves as they are too expensive. It's disgusting. Niki R
  • Score: 19

1:51pm Wed 23 Oct 13

LiberalsOut says...

Who left us in the mess we are in
Labour of course - trying pinning the blame where it lies first and then blame the Tories
Who left us in the mess we are in Labour of course - trying pinning the blame where it lies first and then blame the Tories LiberalsOut
  • Score: -9

2:44pm Wed 23 Oct 13

Niki R says...

LiberalsOut wrote:
Who left us in the mess we are in
Labour of course - trying pinning the blame where it lies first and then blame the Tories
Nonsense. NHS patient satisfaction rates were at an all time high in 2010 when the coalition took office. Now we have 7,000 less nurses, 34,000 less NHS workers, a year-round A&E crisis and cuts to essential services. I know who's created a mess, and it wasn't Labour, so do get your head out of the gutter press and focus on the facts.
[quote][p][bold]LiberalsOut[/bold] wrote: Who left us in the mess we are in Labour of course - trying pinning the blame where it lies first and then blame the Tories[/p][/quote]Nonsense. NHS patient satisfaction rates were at an all time high in 2010 when the coalition took office. Now we have 7,000 less nurses, 34,000 less NHS workers, a year-round A&E crisis and cuts to essential services. I know who's created a mess, and it wasn't Labour, so do get your head out of the gutter press and focus on the facts. Niki R
  • Score: 8

5:20pm Wed 23 Oct 13

LiberalsOut says...

Niki R wrote:
LiberalsOut wrote:
Who left us in the mess we are in
Labour of course - trying pinning the blame where it lies first and then blame the Tories
Nonsense. NHS patient satisfaction rates were at an all time high in 2010 when the coalition took office. Now we have 7,000 less nurses, 34,000 less NHS workers, a year-round A&E crisis and cuts to essential services. I know who's created a mess, and it wasn't Labour, so do get your head out of the gutter press and focus on the facts.
You think that if it makes you feel better
The gutter press ???
That would be The Guardian and Daily Mirror then???
[quote][p][bold]Niki R[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]LiberalsOut[/bold] wrote: Who left us in the mess we are in Labour of course - trying pinning the blame where it lies first and then blame the Tories[/p][/quote]Nonsense. NHS patient satisfaction rates were at an all time high in 2010 when the coalition took office. Now we have 7,000 less nurses, 34,000 less NHS workers, a year-round A&E crisis and cuts to essential services. I know who's created a mess, and it wasn't Labour, so do get your head out of the gutter press and focus on the facts.[/p][/quote]You think that if it makes you feel better The gutter press ??? That would be The Guardian and Daily Mirror then??? LiberalsOut
  • Score: -9

3:43am Thu 24 Oct 13

pebble-dash says...

This will end up costing more in the long run because if these people are not helped we have an increase in crime which cost money for prisons and last year a Sutton resident who pleased for help was ignored and burned down her flat which affected the neighbours flat all has to be paid for for god sake the NHS does not turn away people with their broken bones so please don't keep turning away people with their broken minds and lives
This will end up costing more in the long run because if these people are not helped we have an increase in crime which cost money for prisons and last year a Sutton resident who pleased for help was ignored and burned down her flat which affected the neighbours flat all has to be paid for for god sake the NHS does not turn away people with their broken bones so please don't keep turning away people with their broken minds and lives pebble-dash
  • Score: 8

10:41am Thu 24 Oct 13

chriswp says...

Close down the hospitals take away the staff, not enough staff in social/physic services, this puts the pressure on the ambulance service because there's no none else to call, everybody looses.
Close down the hospitals take away the staff, not enough staff in social/physic services, this puts the pressure on the ambulance service because there's no none else to call, everybody looses. chriswp
  • Score: 6

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