DO you remember the days when services were in place and accessible to all?
The days when you could see your own GP and them knowing your full medical history, including your family history, as they treated three generations of your family. To be able to get treatment at the hospital local to you so friends and family can visit?
When social services were proactive and not reactive in trying to aid families? Our children, sadly, won’t.
All we have heard these last few months, especially, is how services and funding is being cut. Money is being spent on seemingly pointless reforms, such as benefit reform.
It has been announced that more than 1,700 mental health beds have been axed in the last two years. Those needing emergency treatment are now forced to travel out of area for a bed. 3,024 mental health patients in 2013-2014 were made to leave their area, where their support network lies. This came at a cost of £38.3 million.
Cutting services affects the whole community. It puts a strain on emergency services, left to mop up the problems that should be treated within a mental health setting, but instead are sent out on to the streets, with minimal support.
Surely reducing the care and funding to mental health services is going to increase the demand on other very essential emergency services? Should the police have to be detaining mentally ill people in a cell through lack of an appropriate setting?
Does our local hospital need to have a shortage of beds for physically ill people, due to mentally ill people needing a safe place until medication or help from appropriate services arrive?
Is our government cutting corners? One in four of us will develop a mental health problem; chances are we all know someone who is affected. If the right treatment is given, at the right time, in the right setting, this can enable some to go on and live ‘normal’ happy lives.
The answer is not to cut funding but put more money into it and prevent future problems and this will in turn ease the pressure of other important services. I have picked on mental health services but in fact services in social care are just as bad and even the local police station is being replaced in the future by police posts.
So, I question, as society grows and social problems increase, why are the life lines to protect the vulnerable in society being cut?
Days of having the right treatment and services when we need them are gone. We are all better off playing the National Lottery and hoping for a win and getting treatment privately; the odds are far better than what the Government is offering…