BLMK mental health referrals almost double national average
Ahead of next week's Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee, Liberal Democrat Spokesperson on Health Councillor Dean Crofts expresses his concern on the demands on mental health services and the impact on those needing treatment. Councillor Dean Crofts said: "The data shows that mental health services in the BLMK (Bedfordshire, Luton and Milton Keynes) area are incredibly stretched. It is very concerning that referrals for our region in the last 5 months are 100% greater than the national average. COVID-19 has had an undeniable impact on the wellbeing of us all, and has contributed to the increased demand for a service that was already struggling."
In Bedford Borough, the significant impact of COVID-19 on mental health has led to a 69% increase in referrals to Bedford Community Mental Health Team alone since March 2019.
Councillor Dean Crofts continued "In next week's committee I will be asking how the ELFT (East London NHS Foundation Trust) is going to cope with this demand so that they can provide the support that residents need."
Councillor Dean Crofts is encouraging all residents in Bedford Borough to contribute to the current consultation regarding the planned £60million new in-patient mental health premises for Bedford Health Village. Councillor Dean Crofts said "This proposal is a welcome step forward, that will provide mental health in-patient beds in Bedford Borough again, allowing greater access for those that need help. NHS England must ensure that capital funding is available to make this much needed project a reality. I urge the government to take this crisis seriously and properly fund mental health services in our Borough and across the country."
You can contribute to the consultation on the new in-patient mental health premises here https://www.elft.nhs.uk/Get-Involved/Modernising-inpatient-mental-health-care