‘2,242 mental health patients discharged without a care plan is unacceptable’ – Kirsty Williams

April 11, 2012 10:22 AM

Welsh Liberal Democrat research has shown that a large proportion of mental health patients are leaving full time care without any support available to them.

A Freedom of Information response has shown that 50% of mental health patients are being discharged from Cardiff and Vale LHB without being assigned a care co-ordinator. The FOI response has also shown that 36% of patients are being discharged without any type of care plan.

Since 2009, 2,242 patients have been discharged without a care plan, whilst over the same period 2,386 patients have been discharged without a care-coordinator.

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

"Effective care planning is an important part of the rehabilitation process for patients. Upon discharge, it is imperative that all patients have an up to date care plan which should be discussed and agreed with the patient in advance. It is clear from the information that we have uncovered that in far too many instances this is not happening.

"Far too many 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. It is not acceptable that over two thousand patients have been discharged without adequate planning for their rehabilitation.

"The Welsh Liberal Democrats recently revealed the disappointingly high number of readmissions into Wales' mental health wards. Of course there are always going to be some readmissions, but we are not going to get those numbers down if discharged patients are not being offered adequate support. 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."

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