Socialist Worker

Campaigners fight back against mental health crisis

Issue No. 2432

Beds crisis in mental health

Seven mental health patients in England have killed themselves since 2012, after being told there are no beds.

More than 2,100 mental health beds have been cut in England since 2011. Data from health trusts shows that remaining wards are over occupied.

The Royal College of Psychiatrists said the occupancy level should be 85 percent.

But acute admission wards have run at an average occupancy rate of 101 percent for the last two years.

In south west England a 16 year old girl with mental health problems was kept in a police custody block due to lack of beds.

Devon and Cornwall assistant chief constable Paul Netherton revealed that this was not a one-off incident.

He said that 750 people with mental health problems in Devon and Cornwall were detained in police stations in the last year.

Glasgow protests pile on pressure

Workers and service users at Glasgow Association of Mental Health (GamH) are ramping up the pressure on Glasgow City Council over proposed cuts.

They have called a mass demo outside the council’s headquarters on Thursday of next week against proposals to cut GamH’s funding by 40 percent.

GamH bosses have warned the workers’ Unison union of a general risk of redundancies in the future. 

The campaign has already built massive pressure on the Labour-run council and can be a springboard to more action, including strikes by GamH workers.

GamH Cuts Will Cost Lives – join the demonstration, Thursday 11 December, 1pm, Glasgow City Chambers, George Square

Victory in Bolton over selloff plan

Health campaigners against the privatisation of psychological therapy services in Bolton won a significant victory last week. 

Local NHS commissioners announced a nine-month delay in any implementation of the tender process. They also agreed to reconsider a redesign instead of privatisation.

“This shows if you fight back, you can win,” said Jeanette, a local health worker. 

Activists agreed to continue the fight to get privatisation completely off the agenda.

They are also fighting for the renationalisation of NHS work in the private sector in Bolton.

Karen Reissmann, secretary Save Bolton Health Services


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