Mental health bosses reassure patients

SUFFOLK'S mental health bosses today moved to reassure patients after figures revealed a sudden rise in patients needing emergency readmission to hospital's after being released too soonThe Suffolk Mental Health Partnership Trust has vowed to take “corrective action” but said most of its care in the community services were on track.

SUFFOLK'S mental health bosses today moved to reassure patients after figures revealed a sudden rise in patients needing emergency readmission to hospital's after being released too soon

The Suffolk Mental Health Partnership Trust has vowed to take “corrective action” but said most of its care in the community services were on track.

Chief executive Mark Halladay said: “It is not at all accurate to conclude from these figures that care in the community as a whole is not working.

“Most people with mental health problems who are supported by our staff live in the community with their family and friends, and rarely need hospital admission. Indeed they much prefer the support from our doctors and nurses to be given in their own homes.”

The Evening Star reported on Wednesday how community care problems and pressure on beds is also believed to be leading to a tendency to discharge people too early, with some patients are being discharged and then readmitted within one or two days.

In June the emergency readmissions of adults to inpatient wards rate rose to 16per cent, compared to 10pc in May and 4.3pc in June last year, and a 7pc national average. In June there were 69 discharges and 11 emergency readmissions within 28 days.

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The trust is reviewing cases to try to bring levels down, and said historically, its figures have been good compared to the national average.

Mr Halladay said: “The figures quoted in our board report are accurate and the performance measure is important, because it is one of the signs that can tell us how well our services are supporting patients and their families.

“Of course when admission is needed it is important that there is good coordination of services between inpatient and community staff. Any readmission within 28 days, which is the definition of an emergency readmission, represents a unique set of circumstances, and we have been reviewing these to find out why the rate has increased, in order to take corrective action.

“We will take that corrective action and mental health care in the community will continue to provide the essential and best support to the people of Suffolk.”

N Has the emergency readmissions issue affected you or a relative? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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