The sudden closure of an NHS mental health hospital could be putting lives at risk

A public mental health hospital in Yorkshire closed after just five days’ notice. Critics have said that it put the lives of many people at risk, as that support structure very suddenly just vanished.

In fact, a local MP and the lawyers of the patients are pushing for an independent inquiry to be carried out.

The Care Quality Commission (CQC), the regulator of hospitals, closed the hospital in October last year, which forced 30 patients to be relocated or discharged, and affected the treatment of 400 outpatients, the Guardian reported.

The hospital, based in a centuries old building, had to be shut down because the building itself posed a risk to patients. However, the closure arguably caused bigger risks to patients.

Dealing with people with poor mental health can be delicate, and therapy is often a several step process. Any disruption could hurt the recovery of the patients, and something as major as the hospital suddenly shutting could have caused a lot of setbacks.

Criticism said that the hospital could have been repaired in order to make it safe, or that it should have been kept open until an alternative was set up, rather than just ripping the rug out from below the patients’ feet.

There is a severe lack of mental health patient beds available in the UK, and people are having to travel a ridiculous amount of miles, even for outpatient care. Although some minor improvements have been seen to the mental health care sector over the last few years, the system hasn’t been turned around to fully look after those with depression, anxiety, eating disorders, personality disorders, or any of the myriad of health conditions which are just as important as physiological health issues.

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