Living With Schizophrenia

Out-of-Area Treatment for People with Mental Illness: Is it Humane?

Posted: Friday, June 9th, 2017

Access to health care close to home is a basic right. (Image: Shutterstock)

Figures released by the UK’s National Health Service in May revealed that almost seven out of ten young people with a serious mental health condition are currently being treated outside their own area. An investigation by the doctor’s organisation, the British Medical Association showed that 69% of young people were being treated out-of-area.

In some cases young people are treated hundreds of miles away from their home and from their supportive network of friends and family. This puts an enormous burden on families who have to travel long distances to visit their loved-one and will also inevitably reduce the numbers of visits that the patient is able to receive.

In cases of schizophrenia, support from family and friends is an absolutely essential component of a successful recovery. (See our Information Sheet on Recovery Strategies for more about this aspect Link here)

Living with Schizophrenia believes that this policy is counterproductive and inhumane and would not be acceptable in any other branch of health care. People living with schizophrenia have a right to the same standard of treatment that people with other long term conditions, mental or physical, can expect. This policy of out-of-area treatment for people with serious mental illness is bad for patients, bad for their families and friends and will inevitably put greater strain on already scarce resources in the Health Service.

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2 Responses

  1. Carlene LaCroix says:

    The father of my bipolar/schizophrenic son was bipolar, as were other family members of the father. Now 54 years old (and, I his mother, now 84) my son has come to live with me after losing everything in his life. He was diagnosed bipolar years ago, but lived out of our state and wAs not keeping appts with psychiatrist. Living with him is both a blessing and torture simultaneously. It has been a serious deterrent to my good heAlth. He is my product—I can’t throw him under the bus. I have no one who can help me get him to a doctor—he is much bigger than I am, plus a VERY strong personality. His paranoia will probably cause him to default on payments for the nice car I enabled him to buy so that he could become an Uber driver (which, without the paranoia, suits him well). Ive had a recent heart attack and intubation—i don’t have much energy for the problem. My son is said to be a narcissistic type.I am no longer able to visit NAMI meetings or even look for a doctor. Son has a history of past use of street drugs—ruined his teeth, which I have spent thousands to repair. Sadly, he is very talented and bright in many ways. Was it my “old” eggs at age 30, to have been pregnant with him? W hat percentage of late pregnancy children are born defective?

    • David Bell says:

      Thank you for your comments. Unfortunately we do not have as much material on our website for carers as we would like but this is something that we are working on at the moment so please watch this space. David

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