I spent half a day last week going round the facilities on offer for Mental Health to constituents of Central Suffolk and North Ipswich. One in four people will have mental health problems at some point in their life, a surprisingly high figure. It's important that facilities are good so that appropriate treatment can be given early to prevent problems getting worse.
The current facilities need upgrading as they are not up to the standards expected today: patients should be in single rooms with ensuite for privacy during treatment, offices should not be near the treatment areas and consulting rooms need to be the appropriate size. The Mental Health Trust has a plan to change the model of care with more emphasis on treating patients in their own homes (where they feel more comfortable) rather than putting people in hospital. Early assessment is the key to this and close working between the Health Trust and Social Services.
I was impressed by the professional attitude of the staff I met and the need for a fundamental shift in the philosophy of care. I hope that funding from the Strategic Health Authority is forthcoming.