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Leicestershire Centre for Integrated Living

Rise in mental health bed occupancy

Date: 5/6/2015
Summary: Mental health bed occupancy has hit its highest level in at least five years, the latest NHS England figures show.

Mental health beds had an average occupancy of 89.5% in 2014-15, the highest level in the dataset’s five year history. The figure marks a rise in occupancy of 2.9% on 2010-11 levels. The number of available beds fell from 23,515 in April 2010 to 21,374 in April 2015, a drop of 9.1%.

The Royal College of Psychiatrists recommends a ward occupancy level of 85% for effective care.

The NHS England data does not break-down occupancy by type of mental health ward. It will include wards with traditionally lower occupancy levels, such as rehab and long-stay beds, and units which traditionally have higher occupancy such as acute admission wards.

However, a separate dataset published by NHS Choices rating the performance of mental health trusts in England, focuses specifically on crisis care and gives a snapshot of the strain on acute beds.

The NHS Choices data includes acute bed occupancy figures for 48 trusts. Of these, 10 trusts reported 100% occupancy and a further 18 had occupancy levels over 90%. Eight trusts said their acute bed occupancy was below 85%. The figures do not include patients on leave.

Source CommunityCare

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