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“In many cases, the approved centres have closed and the successor centres refuse to accept patients back on the grounds that they cannot provide longer-term inpatient care,” according to the report.
The report also states that although mean and median lengths of stay had been falling at the CMH between 2005 and 2010, since then the length of stay has been relatively static.
“This appears to be because longer-term patients are accumulating as a percentage of the total,” according to the report.
“Medium-term patients are more easily discharged as a result of law reform in 2010. However, the figures for 2015 show that the availability of short-term beds declined in 2015 as the proportion of beds occupied by medium term patients increased.”
The figures show that between 2011 and 2015, the mean length of stay was between 7.5 and 7.1 years, while the median was between 4.4 and 3.1 years.
Elsewhere the report shows that at the end of December 2015, there were 1,187 individuals waiting to be seen within three months by child and adolescent mental health teams and a further 1,132 individuals were on the waiting list.
This represented a decrease of 550 (19.1 per cent) from the total number of 2,869 waiting at the end of 2014.
In the context of an overall 25 per cent increase in the number of referrals accepted between 2012 and 2015, the child and adolescent mental health service waiting list decreased by 103 cases since 2012, an overall decrease of 4 per cent.
In March 2015, the numbers waiting to be seen peaked at 3,206, with 56 per cent (1,801) waiting longer than three months.