High readmission rate of mental health patients must be tackled

The Liberal Democrats have today revealed that over 1300 people were readmitted to mental health hospitals, within 28 days after discharge.

Responding to a parliamentary question tabled by the party, Scottish Government figures showed that last year over 1,300 patients, or one in ten, were readmitted to a mental health hospital 28 days after they were discharged.

The Liberal Democrats have argued that these figures underline the need for the Scottish government to focus on effective community care for discharged mental health patients.

This is against a backdrop that around 55% of all inpatient mental health admissions in 2010-11 were re-admissions. Similarly this percentage has not improved over the past five years.

Commenting, leader of the Scottish Liberal Democrats Willie Rennie MSP said:

“Nearly 10 percent of all mental health patients were readmitted within 28 days after discharge. This must be tackled.

“This cycle of readmissions is damaging for the well-being of mental health patients, their families and puts further pressure on the NHS.

“When it comes to mental health, there is no quick fix. Those with mental health problems need to be cared for in the way that suits their needs best.

“This is why the Scottish Government must make sure that sufficient support is available in the community they are being discharged to. This includes support for the individual, their families and carers.

“Whilst some patients may have to be readmitted for their own well-being, readmission due to lack of support in the community is preventable.

“The Scottish Government must promote tailored community mental health care in their upcoming Mental Health Strategy.”