Inpatient Psychiatric Patients Suffer Facility Closures: United Kingdom

What hospital would consider moving patients with medical conditions – below the neck, 50 + miles away for treatment? Bronglais Hospital finds it perfectly acceptable to move an entire unit of psychiatric patients (10) elsewhere when it was determined there was not enough staff.
       Why did Bonglais not  cut care from the children’s ward? Or from the cardiac unit? Or why not relocate only patients with orthopedic problems. Why? Why move the psychiatric patients?
       Psychiatric patients are expendable, that’s why. People suffering mental health problems have different needs. Perhaps it was the decision at Bronglais Hospital to move them because they were mobile i.e. most patients on psychiatric wards are not confined to a bed. Does that make them less needy? I don’t think so.
       Psychiatric patients often spend their time in hospital without visitors so other patients and the relationships formed are paramount to them. Relocating them 50+ miles away will further remove them from a community & relationships they depend upon.
       Like all patients, psychiatric patients are assigned a bed that becomes their special place of comfort and security on a ward that is often chaotic and unpredictable when other patients suffer with their illnesses and more patients are admitted. Routine is of utmost importance is is one of the only predictable events in their lives. Knowing when meals will arrive and when medications are dispensed is the only thing some patients have to move them through a day.
       Moving psychiatric patients, what is equivalent to the distance from the west cost to the east coast of the state of New Jersey in the US, due to alleged lack of staff is shameful. It speaks loud volumes to the expendability of mental health patients and speaks even louder that the staff at Bronglais Hospital is largely clueless as to the needs of the patients that they treat – and get paid to do so.
       Paying lip-service to wanting to provide safe and effective care doesn’t cut it. Since people with acute mental health problems cannot get care closer to home illustrated the need for a facility in that area.
In the photo below, you can see the beautiful new entrance to Bronglais hospital, but they can’t find money to offer mental health care. Yep. We, the public, are that stupid that we swallow that nonsense.
English: Bronglais hospital New entrance at Br...

English: Bronglais hospital New entrance at Bronglais hospital. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

3 July 2012 Last updated at 07:13 ET

Staff problems close Bronglais Hospital mental health ward

Some patients are moving from Bronglais Hospital to West Wales General Hospital in Carmarthen
A ward treating patients with mental health issues at Bronglais Hospital in Aberystwyth is closing because of staffing problems.

Hywel Dda Health Board said the future of Afallon Ward was under continuous review, but it is unclear if it is shutting permanently or temporarily.

Some patients have been moved to West Wales General Hospital in Carmarthen, while some will receive community care.

It is believed that about 10 patients are affected.

Our priority has to be to provide safe care and treatment to our patients and a safe environment for our workforce”

– Karen Howell Hywel Dda Health Board

The health board said there were not enough qualified staff to provide “appropriate and safe care for patients on that ward”.

Staff and consultants providing the service advised the board to shut the ward, it added.

Karen Howell, the director of primary, community and mental health services, said: “Hywel Dda Health Board has made every effort to maintain the service, including actively trying to recruit staff and improving the ward environment, but has to now take immediate alternative action.

“Our priority has to be to provide safe care and treatment to our patients and a safe environment for our workforce.”

There are 50 miles (80km) between Aberystwyth and Carmarthen.

Earlier this year, hundreds of campaigners held a demonstration outside the Welsh assembly, prompted by fears that services could be moved from Bronglais.

But the health board said the decision affecting Afallon ward was not part of the ongoing review of services.

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