Tackle deep-rooted challenges to improve mental health care

01 February 2024

Responding to a new report from England's Health Ombudsman on the safety of mental health patients when they leave inpatient services, Saffron Cordery, deputy chief executive at NHS Providers said:

"This report sheds light on the significant issues facing mental health patients leaving hospital.

"Clearly, there is more that trusts can do to improve how people with mental health conditions are discharged from hospital and supported in the community.

"Listening to service users as well as their families and carers is vital to making much-needed improvements.

"However, to really get to the root of the problem, we need to ensure mental health services – and wider services that people with mental health conditions rely on – are adequately funded and supported over the long term.

"Investing in staff and the tools they need, as well as community-based services, would help people leave hospital safely, when ready, and ensure they are better supported at home.

"Focusing on these areas would also enable people to get help sooner, which could stop some from needing hospital care in the first place.

"Longstanding structural issues in mental health services must be addressed, alongside trusts making changes that are in their gift, to ensure everyone gets the support they deserve."