The BBC recently highlighted the need for more mental health hospital beds in England to end the distress that comes with sending of patients far from home. As providers of specialist day treatment that’s embedded in the community, we wanted to share our response.

This article sheds light on how important is it that we improve access to mental health services in the UK. The issue is not just about beds which are only one part of the range of treatment options needed by people with mental health conditions. We fully support the national commitment to improve access to high quality community services so that hospital admission is only used where clinically essential, is local wherever possible and that lengths of stay are only as long as a patient needs.

Hospital admissions for eating disorders are on the rise and are frequently many miles from a patient’s home. Given the risk of mortality is higher for this group than for other mental health conditions, accessible and effective treatment is vital if the risk of lives being lost or impaired is to be reduced.

Early intervention is a crucial aspect of this. Research has shown that the earlier people receive the specialist support they need, the greater the chances of a sustained recovery. Treatment and support in the community provides a valuable option for early intervention and can help reduce inappropriate out of area hospital admissions and provide step-down recovery support.

Orri is fully committed to playing its part in improving access to specialist intensive day treatment for people with eating disorders.

Helen England, CEO

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