North Wales mental health patients facing long waits for discharge

Clwyd West Assembly Member Darren Millar who warned last year that mental health patients were facing long delays for discharge is disappointed that new figures show that the problem is still rife across North Wales.

The figures, which come from a BBC Freedom of Information request and cover the past two years, show that around Wales, eight patients had to wait more than a year before being discharged and at least 25 patients waited more than 100 days. In the Betsi Cadwaladr, University Health Board area at least five patients faced delays of more than a year, although the health board said they were in accommodation which was meeting their needs.

Darren said:

“I highlighted this problem 12 months ago so it's extremely disappointing that little action appears to have been taken to remedy the problem.

“These are vulnerable people and they should not be stuck in units for months on end awaiting discharge.

“The delays are truly scandalous and need to be addressed urgently. While bed blocking is extremely costly for the NHS in Wales, the real cost is the quality of life of patients for whom it affects.

"North Wales is already facing pressures with regards to a lack of mental health inpatient beds, not making speedier arrangements for discharge is compounding the problem."