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Found 12 results
  1. News Article
    Children and young people who are anxious, depressed or are self-harming are being denied help from swamped NHS child and adolescent mental health services, GPs have revealed. Even under-18s with an eating disorder or psychosis are being refused care by overstretched CAMHS services, which insist that they are not sick enough to warrant treatment. In one case, a crisis CAMHS team in Wales would not immediately assess the mental health of an actively suicidal child who had been stopped from jumping off a building earlier the same day unless the GP made a written referral. In another, a CAMHS service in eastern England declined to take on a 12-year-old boy found with a ligature in his room because the lack of any marks on his neck meant its referral criteria had not been met. The shocking state of CAMHS care is laid bare in a survey for the youth mental health charity stem4 of 1,001 GPs across the UK who have sought urgent help for under-18s who are struggling mentally. CAMHS teams, already unable to cope with the rising need for treatment before Covid struck, have become even more overloaded because of the pandemic’s impact on youth mental health. Mental health experts say young people’s widespread inability to access CAMHS care is leading to their already fragile mental health deteriorating even further and then self-harming, dropping out of school, feeling uncared for and having to seek help at A&E. “As a clinician it is particularly worrying that children and young people with psychosis, eating disorders and even those who have just tried to take their own life are condemned to such long waits”, said Dr Nihara Krause, a consultant clinical psychologist who specialises in treating children and young people and who is the founder of stem4. “It is truly shocking to learn from this survey of GPs’ experiences of dealing with CAMHS services that so many vulnerable young people in desperate need of urgent help with their mental health are being forced to wait for so long – up to two years – for care they need immediately. Read full story Source: The Guardian, 3 April 2022
  2. News Article
    Millions of patients in England face dangerously long waits for mental health care unless ministers urgently draw up a recovery plan to tackle a “second pandemic” of depression, anxiety, psychosis and eating disorders, NHS leaders and doctors have warned. The Covid crisis has sparked a dramatic rise in the numbers of people experiencing mental health problems, with 1.6 million waiting for specialised treatment and another 8 million who cannot get on the waiting list but would benefit from support, the heads of the NHS Confederation and the Royal College of Psychiatrists have told the Guardian. In some parts of the country, specialist mental health services are so overwhelmed they are “bouncing back” even the most serious cases of patients at risk of suicide, self-harm and starvation to the GPs that referred them, prompting warnings from doctors that some patients will likely die as a result. “We are moving towards a new phase of needing to ‘live with’ coronavirus but for a worrying number of people, the virus is leaving a growing legacy of poor mental health that services are not equipped to deal with adequately at present,” said Matthew Taylor, the chief executive of the NHS Confederation, which represents the whole of the healthcare system in England. “With projections showing that 10 million people in England, including 1.5 million children and teenagers, will need new or additional support for their mental health over the next three to five years it is no wonder that health leaders have dubbed this the second pandemic. A national crisis of this scale deserves targeted and sustained attention from the government in the same way we have seen with the elective care backlog.” One family doctor in Hertfordshire, Dr David Turner, said he was so concerned about the situation that he had chosen to speak out publicly for the first time in his 25-year career. “I and many other GPs feel the issue has become critical and it is only a matter of time before a child dies,” he told the Guardian. Turner said access to child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS) was “never great pre-Covid” but was now “appalling”. The double whammy of a spike in demand and underinvestment in CAMHS was putting patients at risk, he added. Read full story Source: The Guardian, 21 February 2022
  3. News Article
    A man who died from a mixed medication overdose might still be alive if the help his partner was "begging" for had been provided, a coroner said. Mental health patient Benjamin Stroud, 42, had been under the care of Essex Partnership University NHS Trust (EPUT) in the weeks before his death in March. Essex coroner Michelle Brown said in a post-inquest report that, despite "escalating psychosis", his care co-ordinator did not flag the case. Following an overdose of medication in February, his partner, a nurse, called for psychiatric intervention and despite "begging" for help, Mr Stroud's care co-ordinator did not make a referral to the multi-disciplinary team (MDT). Mr Stroud died at home on 19 March and was found surrounded by empty insulin pens and pain medication. In her prevention of future deaths report, the coroner said: "It was clear from [his partner's] account that she had been begging the care co-ordinator for Mr Stroud to have an appointment with the psychiatrist, which did not occur and, from the evidence of EPUT, it was clear that Mr Stroud's care co-ordinator did not make any referral to the MDT, despite his escalating psychosis." The coroner added that the issue of care co-ordinators failing to document their reasons for not referring cases to the MDT had been raised at other inquests. "If these practices continue there is a real risk of future deaths occurring," Ms Brown warned. Paul Scott, chief executive at the trust, said: "We will continue to view all safety-related incidents as an opportunity to learn and make sure lessons are shared across the trust." Read full story Source: BBC News, 16 February 2022
  4. Content Article
    Young people and expert mental healthcare staff say patients are unlikely to receive in-patient mental health care unless they “have attempted suicide multiple times”, according to a new report published by Look Ahead Care and Support. Launched in the House of Lords, the report – funded by Wates Family Enterprise Trust and produced by experts Care Research – argues Accident and Emergency departments have become an ‘accidental hub’ for children and young people experiencing crisis but are ill-equipped to offer the treatment required.   Based on in-depth interviews with service users, parents and carers, and NHS and social care staff from across England, the findings from the Look Ahead Care and Support report draws on experience of treating depression, anxiety, self-harm, suicidal thoughts and suicide attempts, eating disorders, addiction and psychosis.  
  5. Content Article
    This investigation by the Healthcare Safety Investigation Branch (HSIB) aimed to support improvements in the work of community mental health teams (CMHTs). Specifically, the investigation looked at the following four areas: assessing a patient’s risk of self-harm or suicide considering menopause as a risk factor for mental health conditions engaging with families caring for people with a first episode of psychosis. Reference event Ms A was 56 years old when she came into contact with mental health services for the first time in September 2019, following a suicide attempt. Ms A spent a month in hospital, and was then discharged home under the care of a community mental health team (CMHT) with a diagnosis of psychotic depression. At the end of May 2020, Ms A was again admitted to hospital following a second suicide attempt. She again stayed in the hospital for about four weeks before being discharged home under the care of a CMHT. Ms A was seen by CMHT workers regularly throughout July, and had a telephone review with a consultant psychiatrist. At the end of July, Ms A’s family became increasingly concerned about her mental state and were unable to make contact with her. On 2 August, Ms A was found deceased at home having died by suicide.
  6. News Article
    Isolation during lockdown is exacerbating psychosis in some patients, a consultant psychiatrist at a leading mental-health trust warns. Steve Church said the South London and Maudsley NHS Trust had now had to shift its focus to crisis management. He leads the psychosis recovery team, one of the trust's five teams helping patients struggling with their mental health during the coronavirus pandemic. Some have had to move homes to isolate and many no longer visit the clinic. Dr Church, who has been working in the field for almost three decades, said: "In normal times, and we're not in normal times, the whole treatment is about trying to help people not self-isolate, trying to help people to re-engage with society. "Self-isolation is one of the red flag-hallmarks of somebody becoming unwell in the first place, where they take themselves into a psychosis-induced lockdown." One of his patients, Tracey, told Dr Church, in a phone consultation, staying at home had increased her hallucinations. "It's been quite daunting," she said. "I do hear the voices a little bit more now. They're domineering - they tell me to run across the road and they're following me and they say horrible and nasty things." Read full story Source: BBC News, 5 May 2020
  7. News Article
    A national strategy is needed to tackle health risks linked to antipsychotic drugs because current policy is letting tens of thousands of people fall through the gaps, commissioners in London are warning. Commissioners and clinicians in City and Hackney found more than 1,000 patients in their area who were on these drugs without having regular medication reviews or health checks. They warned that, if their findings applied across England, 100,000 patients could be in the same position. Although NHS England funds GP practices to carry out regular health checks on patients who are on the serious mental illness register, this excludes patients who are prescribed antipsychotics without having an SMI diagnosis — which typically covers psychoses, schizophrenia or bipolar active disorder. An audit by City and Hackney Clinical Commissioning Group, carried out in July 2019 and shared with HSJ, found 1,200 patients in the area were taking antipsychotics but did not have a formal SMI diagnosis. The audit found most of these patients were not receiving regular health checks and a significant number may have benefited from having their medication reduced. Read full story (paywalled) Source: HSJ, 27 January 2020
  8. Content Article
    Benjamin Lee Stroud died on the 19 March 2021 at home. He lived alone but had a partner who saw him regularly. He had a previous medical history of recreational drugs, including steroids and cannabis; he was recently diagnosed as insulin dependent diabetic and had undergone a kidney transplant. He fell and injured his back at work, and developed a dependence on pain medication, some of which were purchased on the internet. His mental health issues increased as a result of his psychical health problems. A post mortem was undertaken and the cause of death was multiple drug toxicity.
  9. News Article
    Cases of psychosis have risen significantly in England during the pandemic, according to new NHS data. The number of people referred to mental health services for their first suspected episode of psychosis increased by 75% between April 2019 and April 2021, figures showed. The data, which has been analysed by the charity Rethink Mental Illness, showed that much of the increase in referrals has happened over the last year, after the first national lockdown. The charity, Rethink Mental Illness, said that the data offers some of the first concrete evidence of the impact of the pandemic on the mental health of the population. It is calling on the government to invest more in early intervention for psychosis to halt the further deterioration in people’s conditions. The NHS defines psychosis as “when people lose some contact with reality”. This could involve seeing or hearing things that other people cannot see or believing things that are not actually true. People experiencing symptoms of psychosis need to seek medical help very quickly and charity Rethink Mental Illness is campaigning to get people faster access to vital treatment. Read full story Source: The Independent, 18 October 2021
  10. Content Article
    This survey conducted by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) explored the experiences of people who used community mental health services between September and November 2020. The results show that people are consistently reporting poor experiences of NHS community mental health services, with few positive results. Many people reported that their mental health had deteriorated as a result of changes made to their care and treatment due to the pandemic. Analysis also showed disparities in the experiences of people with different mental health diagnoses, and in the experience of people using different methods to access care, such as telephone consultations. On this webpage you can also access a benchmark report for each NHS trust, which provides detail of the survey methodology, headline results, the trust score for each evaluative question and banding for how a trust score compares with all other trusts.
  11. Content Article
    This article examines the lasting impact of the tragic case of Daksha Emson, a 34-year old psychiatrist who took her own life and that of her baby daughter in an episode of postpartum psychosis. Daksha had a history of bipolar disorder and had attempted suicide before, and the inquiry into her death found that she received “significantly poorer standard of care than that which her own patients might have expected.” The authors highlight the impact of her story on the development in the UK of both specialist perinatal mental health services and specialised confidential services for health professionals, which remove some of the stigma attached to help-seeking.
  12. Content Article
    Dorit describes the assessment and subsequent death of her much loved daughter-in-law who died during a psychotic episode having been discharged the previous evening. Her story raises a number of questions: How should families be included in making judgements and assessments about the patient and their well-being? What support do they need to care for a very distressed loved one? Why aren't written care and contingency plans provided to the patient and their family? What more needs to be done to ensure standard practices are in place to protect patients with psychosis?
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