More than half of the 23,600 inpatients on mental health wards had been in hospital for 117 days or more on 31 March 2014, according to new figures.
A report published by the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC), The Mental Health Bulletin, found that for every 100 occupied beds, fewer than one person is discharged per day (0.7). The fact that so many inpatients are spending months in hospital reduces hospitals’ capacity to accept new admissions.
The report also found that:
• The number of people in contact with mental health services rose by 9.8% - to 1.75 million in 2013/14 from 1.60 million in 2012/13
• 6% of people in contact with mental health services (105,300) spent some time as a hospital inpatient during 2013/14. In 2012/13 this figure was 6.6% (105,200)
• The median length of stay for people who had been discharged from mental health inpatient services during 2013/14 was 23 days.
HSCIC chair, Kingsley Manning, said: “This report shows that there is an increase in the number of people accessing specialist mental health services across all secondary care settings and many inpatients are staying in hospital for long periods.
“Understanding more about the experiences of patients using mental health services is important to support the NHS in planning for the future.”