The Economic Benefits of Community Support in Mental Health Care

Partnership Working

We’re facing some serious problems in mental health right now. 

Patients are staying in hospitals for too long because the support and logistics are not in place to discharge them and community support is only now starting to improve. 

However, Bridge Support is helping solve a lot of the issues and saving the NHS, in particular, and society as a whole, a lot of money.

A National Crisis in Mental Health Beds

Across the United Kingdom, mental health bed occupancy rates are reaching worrying highs, contributing to longer waiting times for discharge. The Christmas 2021 period, in particular, saw over 2,000 mental health patients delayed in hospitals despite being deemed well and ready to go home. This not only negatively impacted patients but also reduced bed capacity for new patients to get the care they need, creating a ripple effect on the healthcare system.

A Community-Focused Solution to Discharge Delays

Bridge Support introduced the ‘Bridge Back Home‘ programme to tackle the delays in discharging patients. This community-focused solution involves making the essential arrangements to ensure care packages, handover of care, and transport requirements are met. This program focuses on making sure that necessary care packages, handovers, and transport are taken care of. This simple solution helps ward staff and reduces the need for long hospital stays. This service saves the NHS millions of pounds in hospital bed costs.

Cost Savings and Economic Impact: A Win-Win Situation

An independent study found that for every 300 people helped by Bridge Support, the local NHS saves more than £400,000. This is because there are fewer relapses and therefore, fewer emergency room visits and fewer GP visits. The cost-effectiveness of community support is evident.

Rebuilding Lives in the Community

Bridge Support’s initiatives have led to improvements in patient experiences, reducing anxiety and encouraging community integration. Their success highlights the impact of community support, emphasising the importance of a departure from prolonged hospital stays.

TILT Program for Ex-offenders

Bridge Support’s TILT programme extends its reach to ex-offenders with mental health problems. This program, providing round-the-clock support, real-life skills training, and accommodation, aims to ease ex-offenders’ transition back into society. The economic benefits are substantial, with a significantly lower reoffending rate among TILT program participants compared to national averages. Fewer people in prison equals reduced costs to society.

Working Together for Change

Bridge Support’s collaboration with local NHS teams has proven successful, particularly with the ‘Bridge Back Home’ programme, which significantly reduces readmissions. Local authorities, including Cabinet Member for Health and Adults’ Social Care, Cllr Denise Scott-McDonald, have praised Bridge Support for relieving capacity pressures on the local NHS networks.

From Local Success to National Change

The success of Bridge Support’s models suggests that community-focused solutions can be used on a larger scale. These initiatives can revolutionise mental health services across the country, helping with bed availability issues and improving patient outcomes.

Raymond Sheehy’s participation in the Collaborate leadership training programme shows how important it is to speak up for good ideas. Leadership training gives advocates the confidence to make strong cases for better mental health services, leading to positive changes. 

Raymond advocated for a national level implementation of recovery colleges at a recent meeting in Downing Street.

A Call for More Innovation and Support

Bridge Support’s creative approaches to mental health care show how supporting the community can bring economic benefits. As we face challenges in mental health services, the success stories and community-focused solutions from Bridge Support can guide us in making positive changes. With continued innovation, collaboration, and support, we can ensure that mental health services are accessible to everyone.

For more details about our services and how Bridge Support can help, visit our website or reach out to us here

Further reading:

Bridge Back Home Service

Our Tilt Project Is Here To Stay

The Recovery College – A Revolutionary Approach To Mental Health Recovery

South East London mental health services championed by Bridge Support CEO at Downing Street

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