HEALTH – REDUCTIONS IN MENTAL HEALTH BEDS – 2 February 2015
Dr Julian Lewis: Does the Minister accept that this is a matter not only of funding but of philosophy? Does he agree that part of the problem is that certain Primary Care Trusts have adopted a philosophy of cutting in-patient beds generally? For example, adult beds have been cut by 35% in areas as far apart as my constituency and that of my hon. Friend the Member for Burton (Andrew Griffiths). Does he detect any rowing back from that rather extreme philosophy in the near future?
[The Minister of State, Department of Health (Norman Lamb): We want to try to ensure that when there is a crisis, a bed is available locally. With regard to the philosophy of seeking to reduce the tendency to have long periods of in-patient care – institutionalising people – it is absolutely right that we move away from that and focus far more on early intervention, community support and recovery. That is the general trend in progressive views within mental health. However, there must be a bed available when a crisis occurs.]