|Call for more care in the community|
|Written by The Herald|
|Tuesday, 24 July 2012|
There were more than 1300 cases of people in Scotland being readmitted to mental health hospitals within 28 days of being discharged last year, figures have shown.
Exactly 1331 cases fell into that category – almost one-tenth of the total 14,647 of mental health discharges in 2011.
The Scottish Government statistics were obtained by the Liberal Democrats, who called for action from ministers to tackle the issue.
Party leader Willie Rennie MSP said: "This cycle of readmissions is damaging for the wellbeing of mental health patients and their families and puts further pressure on the NHS."
The figures were provided by Health Secretary Nicola Sturgeon in answer to a written question from Alison McInnes MSP, the LibDems' spokeswoman on health.
Dumfries and Galloway NHS board had the highest readmission rate at 14%. Grampian and Lanarkshire were next at around 10% each.
The LibDems said the figures underlined the need for the Scottish Government to focus on community care for mental health patients once they leave hospital.
Rennie said: "When it comes to mental health, there is no quick fix. This is why the Scottish Government must make sure that sufficient support is available in the community.
"Whilst some patients may have to be readmitted for their own well-being, readmission due to lack of support in the community is preventable. The Scottish Government must promote tailored community mental health care in their upcoming Mental Health Strategy."