Thanks Paul, excellent, well thought out blog post addressing some of the real challenges of this very complex area, Steve
No controversy rages more fiercely in healthcare, and in particular mental health care, than that of whether there are enough beds. Although it is 20 years since the closure of the last long stay mental health hospital, the number of beds still holds significant sway as the working currency of psychiatric care. The debate is a philosophical one as well as a practical one. One side of the debate sees beds as the epitome of oppressive medically dominated care, in some cases arguing that with the right community resources there may be no need for beds at all, or at least not for what we currently define as psychiatric inpatient beds. Others see the gradual erosion of inpatient beds as a big mistake and cites the undoubted pressure on resources in some parts of the country as proof of the urgent need for new capacity to be opened.
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