Category Archives: mental health

Why is the NHS 'biased' towards mental health patients?

Paul Burstow: NHS is ‘biased’ against treating mental health

The NHS is “biased” against treating patients with depression and other mental health problems, wasting billions of pounds a year as their conditions grow worse, a former minister is warning.


By , Political Correspondent

6:00AM GMT 14 Mar 2013

Paul Burstow said families were paying the price as government figures showed spending on mental health services fell by 1 per cent last year.

Patients are suffering a “postcode lottery” in services across the country, with some areas spending three times more than others on therapies and treatment, he said.

The Lib Dem MP, who was the Care Minister until September’s reshuffle, is to lead a new Commission on mental health, backed by the think-tank CentreForum, which is launched today.

Writing for, Mr Burstow said: “The NHS default remains stubbornly biased towards physical health – a terrible false economy at the expense of people’s lives, as well as the public purse.

Health officials have apologised for failing mentally ill patients

1 March 2013 Last updated at 21:27

Dorset health trust apologises for failing mentally-ill patients

 More than £1m has been spent on refurbishing Minterne ward and changes have been made to staffing levels and training

Health officials have apologised for failing mentally ill patients at an acute ward in Dorset following a damning report.

Care Quality Commission (CQC) inspectors found patients on a ward at the Forston Clinic in Charminster did not receive appropriate and safe care.

Patients were not protected against the risk of abuse or unlawful, excessive use of control and restraint.

Dorset HealthCare University NHS Foundation Trust has made changes.

Health officials shut the Minterne Ward in December, following the four-day inspection, which found the ward was failing to meet 10 vital quality and safety standards.

The curious incident of the toast in the night-time

Phyllida Law: my mother’s dementia had its funny side

By Elizabeth Grice

8:00AM GMT 23 Feb 2013

A life on the stage, and marriage to the writer of ‘The Magic Roundabout’, equipped Phyllida Law with a sense of humour. In a new book she takes a comic, yet moving, look at her mother’s dementia.

So much merriment courses through Phyllida Law’s account of looking after her demented mother, Meg, that some busybody from the mental health police is bound to object that she isn’t taking the subject seriously enough.

Many of their exchanges belong in an Alan Bennett play. “You haven’t got your distance glasses on, Mother,” shouts the actress as Mego, as she was known, a little unsteady and suffering from glaucoma, totters off for her morning walk, waving her stick. “Don’t worry, dear,” comes the reply. “I’m not going any distance.”

Then there is the curious incident of the toast in the night-time. Mego woke in the early hours, yodelling: “Yoo-hoo. Anyone home? What’s for breakfast?” “I slithered downstairs to tell her it was 3am,” Phyllida recalls. “She seemed to be fiddling with her radio, so I asked if she’d like it on. She said, no, she was just trying to make herself a piece of toast. Something made me lock the front door as I went back to bed.”