THE number of people being admitted to hospital with mental health illnesses has fallen dramatically, according to latest figures.
Figures for Mental Health Inpatient Care, published today by Information Services Division (ISD) Scotland, show that admissions and discharges have fallen by around 17 per cent since 2006/07.
As at 31 March 2014, there were just under 3,500 people resident in Scottish psychiatric hospitals. That number has fallen by more than a half since 1997/98.
The health inequality gap for mental health hospital admissions has also narrowed. Since 2006/07 the gap between discharges for the most deprived areas and the least deprived has reduced by 22 per cent.
According to the government the trend reflects the shift in recent years towards treating more people with mental health problems in community settings, rather than admitting them to hospital.
They say the availability of specialist community health teams has been increased, and more services are being made available from general practices.
Jamie Hepburn, Minister for Sport, Health Improvement and Mental Health, said:
“I am pleased to see this continuing decline in hospitalisations for mental illness, with a 17 per cent fall under this government. There are cases where a hospital admission is the best option for the patient. However, for many people the most effective treatments can be delivered in community settings, while they are living at home.”