‘Cycle of mental health readmissions is not good for patients, families, or the NHS’ – Kirsty Williams

2012 Mawrth 22 1:18 PM

Kirsty Williams has called for the Welsh Labour Government to make improvements to the way mental health statistics are made available to the public after figures reveal a high rate of readmissions occurring.

A Freedom Of Information request carried out by the Welsh Liberal Democrats has shown that there is a high cycle of mental health readmissions in Wales. A total of 435 patients, under the care of Abertawe Bro Morgannwg Local Health Board, were readmitted within one year of discharge to mental health wards. 127 patients, under the care of Betsi Cadwaladr LHB, were readmitted within just a 28 day period.

The Welsh Liberal Democrats are calling for readmission statistics to be routinely published and for the Welsh Government to tackle the issue by ensuring that patients are given better planned care once discharged.

Kirsty Williams, Leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats, commented:

"Readmission statistics are an important tool in the planning for mental health services. It is not right that we should have to go through the Freedom of Information Act to ensure that these vital statistics are made available to the public. There are currently far too few statistics available in relation to mental health, which sadly indicates that mental health is still not getting the attention that it dearly needs.

"The cycle of readmissions is not good for patients, their families, or indeed for the NHS. We can't allow the revolving door system that currently exists to continue. Of course there is always going to be some readmissions, but keeping a close eye on these statistics is vital.

"Readmission rates are important as they can signpost potential problems currently existing in the patient discharging system. It is possible that too many patients are being discharged before they are actually ready to leave full time treatment. It is also the case that some patients are not getting the support they require once they have been discharged. It's essential that patients have a good care plan and are assigned a care co-ordinator so they receive the thorough care that they need.

"The Welsh Liberal Democrats believe the Welsh Labour Government needs to set a standardised way for Local Health Boards to be recording these figures. As the Freedom of Information shows, this is not currently being done which makes it difficult to get a clearer picture of the national situation. We are calling on this Welsh Labour Government to give mental health the same urgency and priority as physical health."


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