NHS Spends Billions to Treat Mental Health Issues

Mental-HealthA report has recently revealed that mental health problems in patients with long-term ailments are causing the NHS to spend a large amount for their care. It has been found that NHS is failing to deal with mental illness problems in patients, which is accounting for increased expenditure for care.

It has been found by a team of researchers at the King’s Fund and the Centre for Mental Health that physical health illnesses such as diabetes or heart disease cause mental health problems in patients to go unnoticed. While it is evident from the study that such problems are more probable in people with long-term health conditions. The researchers have told that failure by the NHS to tackle such issues is resulting in increased costs of services and hospitalization.

As per the report, mental health issues co-existing with other ailments lead to poor self management. This is because patients with any kind of heart disease or diabetes, who are mentally ill, are not in a condition to take care of their selves or take medicines timely. In addition, they fail to go for timely checkups too.

Being unable to identify patients’ mental illness, the NHS has to spend almost £8-13bn each year towards their long-term care, says the group of researchers. Of the same, an expenditure of £1 in every £8 goes for treatment of mental problems.

The NHS should take more integrated approach for long-term physical conditions along with mental health so as to improve patient outcomes as well as make more amount of savings, suggests the team. 'The prevailing approach towards improving care for people with long-term conditions is at risk of failing unless we look at patients' needs as a whole, including their mental health needs’, adds Lead author Chris Naylor.