Mental health patient 'kept unnecessarily in hospital for 6 years'

Mental health patient 'kept unnecessarily in hospital for 6 years'

A mental health patient was kept unnecessarily in hospital for over six years in an extreme case of "bed blocking", a report has revealed.

The Liverpool Daily Post says that a patient under the care of a mental health NHS trust spent 2,398 days in hospital unnecessarily.

Although the identity of the patient is not known, the article adds that older patients who have conditions such as dementia get stuck in mental health hospitals because there is no appropriate care package available to them at home.

Dr Peter Connelly, chair of the Royal College of Psychiatrists' Faculty of Old Age Psychiatry, told the newspaper of the "lack of forward planning" to cope with an aging population.

"We need to see better integration of services to ensure that when a person with dementia is admitted appropriately to a general hospital, as much is known about them as possible and that their needs are identified and treatment initiated at the earliest possible stage," he continued.

This comes after Health secretary Andrew Lansley announced that £162 million would be transferred from the NHS budget into local authorities to help patients leave hospital more quickly.

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