A mental health patient was left waiting in the Royal Blackburn Hospital’s emergency department for almost five days for a bed, according to the East Lancashire Hospitals Trust’s own documents. The same document points to a year-on-year increase in the number of mental health 12-hour breaches, many more than in previous years.
In total, the patient waited 4.75 days in A&E from ‘Decision to Admit’, the time at which a full mental health assessment has been carried out and it has been determined that the patient requires an admission.
It is one of 45 breaches of the 12-hour target waiting time at the A&E for mental health patients between January 1 and March 14 this year.
Lancashire Care Foundation Trust told the local Lancashire Telegraph that the patient would have remained in the A&E department and would have been supported by its mental health practitioners: the Trust argued that it needed more funding from commissioners to establish more provision in the community. Meanwhile they are paying for beds in a private mental health hospital:
“Until these additional services are fully operational we have commissioned an additional 22 beds from The Priory to manage the demand and we also use other capacity from within the private sector when appropriate, however these are not always available.”