“We think about 10 million people will need additional mental health support as a result of
the pandemic” – Andy Bell, Deputy Chief Executive of the Centre for Mental Health speaking
to the Health Service Journal.
The crisis in Mental Health treatment doesn’t get anything like the same coverage from the UK media as many other NHS services. In many ways, it has long been a Cinderella – more so with the years of government underfunding of public services. Queues for treatment have grown and huge numbers of people have been forced into private profit-making services – unaffordable to many of us.
It’s of course well known that those suffering most from discrimination and austerity also suffer the most from mental ill health. Rates are higher for women than men and higher inpoorer neighbourhoods. Cuts and bed closures are the last thing we need – but that’s just what’s happening in Ealing.
Ealing Save Our NHS has produced a document outlining its opposition to the proposedpermanent closure of Hope and Horizon Wards on the St Bernard’s Site next to EalingHospital. You can find the document here.
As the document explains: “This proposed cut would leave the whole Borough with NO acute adult mental health beds for anyone under 65 and leave many Ealing patients in a worse position than comparable Boroughs.”These plans would mean an overall reduction of 14 beds. Meanwhile no less than 61 beds elsewhere in North West London also face the axe.
We certainly hope that elected councillors and MPs in Ealing and surrounding areas will be opposing these closure plans as there is a huge and growing demand in Ealing for these beds.