One of the most common things I have heard over the last couple of years is the words ‘there aren’t any beds’ The thing is, someone was only looking for a bed for Chris in a psychiatric unit because we had exhausted all other options and felt now this was the only option we had left. I remember one particular day when Chris had been having a seriously tough time, he had been self harming and overdosing and struggling to cope, his social worker came over and he was distressed and Chris agreed that the best option would be hospital admission. She rang the gatekeeper (Crisis team manage beds here can you believe!!!) and they started to look for somewhere for Chris. As the next hour went passed it transpired that there were no beds left in most of the northwest, they had looked all over our local areas and then over towards Bolton etc, the only place they could find a bed was ORMSKIRK… this is bearing in mind we live in Oldham, miles away!
The problem with this when someone is anxious and unwell the last thing they want to be is miles and miles away from home, this was making him more distressed at the thought. This in turn made Chris refuse hospital admission at all and they couldn’t force him because at that time he apparently didn’t fit the criteria for a MHA assessment. This meant he had to keep himself safe and I, who was struggling with keeping him safe and didnt feel I could anymore. I carried on sitting with him and making sure he was ok but it was exhausting, if he was up all night so was I but I still had to look after the girls all day so I lived on little sleep.
So having heard ‘there are no beds’ on more than one occasion, when they go on about cutting money and jobs etc it is very worrying, they can’t cope at the moment, I dread to think how bad things will get if they take more resources away.