4th February 2015
An independent Commission to review the
provision of inpatient psychiatric care for adults in England,
Wales and Northern Ireland has been launched today [4th
The Commission is chaired by Lord Nigel
Crisp, former Chief Executive of the NHS in England and Permanent
Secretary of the Department of Health (2000-2006).
The Commission has been established by the
Royal College of Psychiatrists (RCPsych) to respond to widespread
concerns about the provision of inpatient psychiatric care for
adults in many parts of England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
Concerns highlighted by the Commission include:
· The number of
patients in England travelling out of their local area for
emergency mental health treatment more than doubled in two years
from 1301 in 2011/12 to 3024 in 2013/14. One person was sent
300 miles, from Devon to West Yorkshire.
2014 analysis of English coroners’ reports found that seven
suicides and one homicide were linked to a psychiatric bed not
being available between 2012-2014.
· In Wales,
psychiatric wards have been operating at above the RCPsych’s
recommended figure of 85% occupancy every year since 2010/11.
· In Northern
Ireland, psychiatric wards have been operating at above the
RCPsych’s recommended figure of 85% occupancy every year since
· In a
2014 survey of UK psychiatric trainees, 24% said that a bed
manager had told them that a patient would only get a bed if they
were sectioned under mental health legislation.
Call for Evidence
The Commission is today launching a call
for evidence. The Commissioners would like to hear from patients,
carers, staff, commissioners, charities, academics, social workers
and anyone else who has knowledge or experience of acute inpatient
care in England, Wales or Northern Ireland. The Commission is
particularly interested to hear about innovative solutions to bed
pressures which are already being put into practice.
Anyone wishing to submit evidence to the
Commission can do so by visiting the Commission website - www.CAAPC.info -
before Wednesday 18 March.
Lord Nigel Crisp, Commission Chair, said:
“It is simply unacceptable that patients are being turned away from
services or sent hundreds of miles away from home because there
isn’t a bed available for them locally.
“The Commission will be visiting services
and meeting patients and staff in order to understand both
what the causes of these problems are and to look for
Professor Sir Simon Wessely, President of RCPsych said:
“Throughout my career I have seen recurring crises in the provision
of mental health beds, with wards running at full capacity and
patients in crisis having nowhere to go.
“Now is the time to look at these crises
more closely, identify the underlying causes and move towards
finding practical and sustainable solutions. The Commissioners have
a huge level of expertise in mental health and represent diverse
voices from across the sector including clinical staff, NHS
management, service users and carers.
“I hope that this Commission will find
solutions that ensure that anyone in need of inpatient psychiatric
care has access to local, high quality services.”
The Commission will review the current
provision of acute inpatient services, investigate the causes of
pressures on beds, and examine the relationships between inpatient
services and other aspects of the health and social care
Commissioners will meet with clinical
staff, mental health experts and service users and carers in
England, Wales and Northern Ireland. They will also review
available research and best practice.
Contact details for further
For press queries, please contact Kathy
Oxtoby or Deborah Hart in the RCPsych Communications
Telephone: 0203 701 2544 or 0203 701
E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org or
More information on the Commission,
including its Terms of Reference, a Background Briefing Paper and
Commissioner Biographies can be found at www.CAAPC.info or via
Notes to Editors
The review will be carried out throughout
2015 and the commission will report its findings in early 2016.
The Royal College of Psychiatrists is
funding the Commission, and providing secretariat support. However,
the Commission has agreed its own terms of reference and will
operate independently of any influence.
The full Commission title is ‘The
Commission to Review the Provision of Acute Inpatient Psychiatric
Care for Adults in England, Wales and Northern Ireland’. The
abridged Commission title is ‘The Commission on Acute Adult
Scotland is excluded from the Commission’s
scope as it is undertaking its own programme of work to review
psychiatric beds. The Commission’s scope does not include CAHMS
services, forensic services or specialist adult services (such as
perinatal or dementia) as these services are commissioned
separately and are subject to different service pressures and
For further information, please
Telephone: 020 3701 2738
Telephone: 0203 701
Out-of-hours contact number: 07860