Health trust pays £60k for private beds at The Priory

Daily Echo: The Priory The Priory

PATIENTS suffering severe mental illness were sent to an exclusive private hospital for treatment after a more than a third of NHS beds were axed, the Daily Echo can reveal.

More than £60,000 was spent on treating patients at the private Priory because all the health service beds available were full.

The private hospital at Marchwood is best known for treating celebrities.

Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust, (SHFT), which runs mental health services, paid £66,548 for 127 days of care at The Priory in October. This is equal to £524 per patient per day.

The NHS trust also opened “contingency beds” in its own mental health units to cope with demand in August and September. The bed shortages come after the trust closed 58 beds, including 24 at Woodhaven in Calmore – a move fiercely opposed by New Forest East MP Dr Julian Lewis, patients and relatives.

The Tory MP feared lives could be at risk under plans to reduce acute mental health beds across the county from 165 in January 2012 to 107 last July. However, health bosses insisted most patients want to be cared for at home and promised no patient in need of a hospital bed would be denied one.

As previously reported, the trust aimed to save £4.8m over three years, £1.5m of which would be ploughed into strengthening “hospital at home” treatment.

Dr Lewis described figures showing no spare NHS beds as “disturbing.”

He said: “Closing 58 beds was bound to have a huge impact and it now seems doubtful if any money will be saved given the costs of putting people in private hospital beds.”

The trust is due to present bed occupancy figures for October, November and December to the county council’s Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee later this month.

Data obtained by the Daily Echo shows up to seven NHS contingency beds were brought into use last August and six at The Priory in October.

In a statement the trust said: “The demand on, and availability of beds can fluctuate for many reasons, and so we have procedures in place to make sure an acute mental health bed will always be made available for anybody who needs one.

“These plans include the use of contingency beds that can be made available within our units, and having access to beds in other organisations, including local NHS trusts and the private sector. This is standard practice and not an emergency measure.

Comments (8)

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6:50pm Fri 11 Jan 13

Huffter says...

Quite right too.
Quite right too. Huffter

7:27pm Fri 11 Jan 13

Linesman says...

The NHS Trust closed 58 beds.

Why?

Cost-cutting?

They then spend £66,548 at The Priory, which is in the private sector.

The Tory-led goverment's method of privatisation of the NHS by stealth?
The NHS Trust closed 58 beds. Why? Cost-cutting? They then spend £66,548 at The Priory, which is in the private sector. The Tory-led goverment's method of privatisation of the NHS by stealth? Linesman

9:11pm Fri 11 Jan 13

thinklikealocal says...

I totally disagree with the NHS being replaced by the private sector, but, what I would really like to know is how much an in patient mental health bed costs per night in the NHS? Not much less (if not more) I bet?
I totally disagree with the NHS being replaced by the private sector, but, what I would really like to know is how much an in patient mental health bed costs per night in the NHS? Not much less (if not more) I bet? thinklikealocal

9:15pm Fri 11 Jan 13

Block41row0sfc says...

Main thing is they are not turning people away but why shut beds? When will the cuts stop?
Main thing is they are not turning people away but why shut beds? When will the cuts stop? Block41row0sfc

10:46pm Fri 11 Jan 13

Linesman says...

Block41row0sfc wrote:
Main thing is they are not turning people away but why shut beds? When will the cuts stop?
The cuts will stop when this Tory-led coalition has privatised the NHS, and it is run as efficiently and economically as the railways and bus companies.
[quote][p][bold]Block41row0sfc[/bold] wrote: Main thing is they are not turning people away but why shut beds? When will the cuts stop?[/p][/quote]The cuts will stop when this Tory-led coalition has privatised the NHS, and it is run as efficiently and economically as the railways and bus companies. Linesman

6:49am Sat 12 Jan 13

sarfhamton says...

It is probably cheaper to close these beds and buy from the Priory "as and when".
It is probably cheaper to close these beds and buy from the Priory "as and when". sarfhamton

10:16am Sat 12 Jan 13

Linesman says...

sarfhamton wrote:
It is probably cheaper to close these beds and buy from the Priory "as and when".
Of course it is - Now!

They do a deal now, but when more NHS beds have been lost, then they will up their price.

They are a commercial operation, that is there to make the maximum profit for their investors, just like the railways and the bus companies.
[quote][p][bold]sarfhamton[/bold] wrote: It is probably cheaper to close these beds and buy from the Priory "as and when".[/p][/quote]Of course it is - Now! They do a deal now, but when more NHS beds have been lost, then they will up their price. They are a commercial operation, that is there to make the maximum profit for their investors, just like the railways and the bus companies. Linesman

3:22pm Sat 12 Jan 13

Shoong says...

Linesman wrote:
sarfhamton wrote:
It is probably cheaper to close these beds and buy from the Priory "as and when".
Of course it is - Now!

They do a deal now, but when more NHS beds have been lost, then they will up their price.

They are a commercial operation, that is there to make the maximum profit for their investors, just like the railways and the bus companies.
You didn't enjoy your stay then? Tsk, how ungrateful.
[quote][p][bold]Linesman[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]sarfhamton[/bold] wrote: It is probably cheaper to close these beds and buy from the Priory "as and when".[/p][/quote]Of course it is - Now! They do a deal now, but when more NHS beds have been lost, then they will up their price. They are a commercial operation, that is there to make the maximum profit for their investors, just like the railways and the bus companies.[/p][/quote]You didn't enjoy your stay then? Tsk, how ungrateful. Shoong

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