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Write, stop cutting and pasting. 

Mar 21st 2014. 


Hospitals forced to turn away mentally ill as NHS struggles with budget cuts

  • Man holding his head in his hands
    Hundreds of psychiatric beds are expected to close in coming months Denis Closon/Rex Features
Mary Bowers and Sam Lister
Last updated February 1 2011 12:01AM

A growing number of people seeking hospital care for mental health problems are being refused treatment and pushed back to community services as NHS trusts reduce beds to save money.

Pressure on budgets and a drive to improve community support for mental health problems is resulting in a sharp decline in the number of people admitted to hospital if they seek treatment voluntarily. Instead, many are turned away and end up being sectioned when their health has reached a crisis point and they are considered a risk to themselves or others.

There is mounting evidence that the drive to encourage and enhance community-based mental health services, as set out in the last Government’s mental health strategy in 1999, is having the unintended consequence of reducing hospital care sharply.

Latest figures show that more than 40,000 people were sectioned with serious mental health problems last year — almost 10,000 more than in the previous 12 months. A report last year also showed a rise in people being formally detained under the Mental Health Act.

Meanwhile, the annual number of voluntary hospital admissions has fallen by almost 20,000 people over the past five years. This is in part due to better treatment in the community, but also a result of health trusts’ reluctance to admit people who they believe can be catered for away from hospital.

Campaigners said that the situation was expected to worsen as the NHS tried to make £20 billion of savings over the next three years, with £2 billion to be saved by treating more people in the community rather than in hospital. Mental health, called the Cinderella service for the historic neglect it has endured in funding rounds, is expected to suffer further cuts to hospital services.

Hundreds of psychiatric beds are expected to close in coming months. Consultations are being carried out on the cutting of services in London, including 92 beds in Camden and Islington, clinics in Leeds and Manchester, and services in Shropshire and Hertfordshire.

Marjorie Wallace, chief executive of the charity Sane, said that the drive over recent decades to enhance community care had brought benefits, but it was a “relentless agenda” that was driving hospital-based mental health to the wall.

She pointed to incentives based on keeping people out of hospital when in some instances hospital treatment was what they needed most. Wards had now become home to only the most disturbed cases, she said, rather than the mix of patients learning to cope and recover from their illnesses.

“There is an over-reliance on community care without the investment in the backstop of inpatient care. It is a relentless agenda to close down inpatient care, which is the most expensive part of psychiatric treatment, and there is the desire to keep people in the community,” she said.

“In many cases community care may be fine, but we hear harrowing, heartbreaking stories of people who are very desperate, who feel unsafe living in the community with the torment they are suffering, and with family members who can no longer cope with the pressure. And they are being discharged or turned away from their only form of sanctuary — inpatient care.”

Tomorrow the Government will launch its mental health strategy, with £300 million of new funds set aside for “talking therapies” to help 1.2 million NHS patients to deal with conditions such as work-related stress, anxiety and depression. The full cost to the economy of mental ill-health is estimated at £105 billion a year.

Paul Burstow, the Care Services Minister, told The Times that the investment “will send a strong message to NHS commissioners that a disproportionate reduction in mental health spend is not an intelligent option”.

“Mental health must no longer be the Cinderella,” he said. “Not spending on early identification, intervention and quality community treatment is a false economy, which will inevitably lead to more individuals in crisis and requiring hospital treatment.”

Troubled minds

1 in 4 people in the UK will be affected by mental illness

107,765 people were admitted for NHS mental health treatment last year

40% of those inpatients had been sectioned

16,000 mental health patients are under compulsory detention at any one time

29% of acute psychiatric wards operate over capacity

90% of suicides are committed by people with mental illness

Sources: MIND, Care Quality Commission, NHS Information Centre


you always get the one kid who sits at the back, spoilt and obsessing about who they are and how they got dissed; desperate to maintain their cred; usually emotionally infantile, intellectually challenged and furiously defiant, everybody chooses to suffer them for their sake. No crisis in identity. If you want to find yourself get interested in others. This is just more sicko navel gazing and it’s make me sicker about UK. Who f***** cares.  Britain is, was and always will be simply a Masonic cash cow, an experiment, a brainwashed herd.


A cup of tea and game of cricket? What is it to be English, today?


While the Scots, Irish and Welsh are at home with their identity, the changing face of Britain has led to a new interest in Englishness. Academics and film-makers meet to discuss the issue this week

By Rachel Shields

Sunday, 21 November 2010



A “crisis of Britishness” is prompting growing numbers of people to redefine themselves as “English”, raising troubling questions about national identity and the extremes of home-grown Islamic radicals and the far right.


The question of what it is to be an Englishman has exercised some of the finest minds. To George Orwell it was “solid breakfasts and gloomy Sundays, smoky towns and winding roads, green fields and red pillar-boxes”, while the American-born poet T S Eliot argued it lay in the Henley regatta, Wensleydale cheese and the music of Elgar.

Academics and film-makers aware of this nationalist trend are gathering in Derby this week to explore English identity at ID Fest, a new film festival exploring English identity.

“There is a crisis of Britishness,” said Jeffrey Richards, professor of cultural history at Lancaster University. “Because of things like devolution, the EU and the crises in parliament – and, in the past, the monarchy – some people have felt the need for a separate identity from Britishness.”

Earlier this year, the Arts and Humanities Research Council cited a resurgence of interest in English folk music and dance as evidence of this. The experts also admit English is not as well established as Scottish, Irish or the Welsh identities. If flying the flag is a an important symbol of national identity for our neighbours, the St George’s cross has come to be associated with football hooliganism and fascism.

“The English have never really had to assert their identity, as they are the senior party in the UK,” said Professor Richards. But the problem of defining the national identity of a country of more than 51 million people is complicated by mass immigration, which has made England one of the most multicultural countries in the world.

“It’s the elephant in the room of national identity,” said Robert Colls, professor of English history at Leicester University. “England is much more tolerant, and open to difference. On the other hand… major changes in the nation-state have left many wondering in what sense they are living in the same country.”

Such divisions were highlighted last week by police who warned that demonstrations by nationalist groups such as the English Defence League are fuelling Islamic extremism.

“When I go to Pakistan I feel English, but when I am in England I don’t always feel that I am English because there are so many Englands, from metropolitan London to horrible racist places where people who are different get stared at on village greens,” said the cricketer Imran Khan.

While some believe English identity lies in morris dancing and brass bands, the literature of Chaucer and Shakespeare, and an obsession with cups of tea and the weather, others see this as reductionist. The poet Ian McMillan said: “You can either take the John Major view of Englishness, that it is about warm beer; or the idea of radical Englishness – that we’ve been invaded so many times Englishness is a construct, and can comprise a multiplicity of languages and cultures.”

In the quest to find out what it really means to be English, we travelled to two very different locations – Ripley in Derbyshire and Bradford in West Yorkshire – both of which have been described as among the most English places in the country.

Eighty-eight per cent of Ripley residents have an English ethnic background, while 97.8 per cent of the area is white. Nestled in Derbyshire’s Amber Valley, the market town was mentioned in 1086 in the Domesday Book as a flourishing industrial town.

It is a world away from the multicultural city of Bradford. Despite the high proportion of British Asians living there – estimated to reach 26 per cent by 2011 – Bradford was found to have outstandingly “English” characteristics, with a high number of tea rooms and cricket clubs. The West Yorkshire city has long had Muslims, Sikhs, Hindus and Christians living alongside one another, but not without tensions: in 2001 there were massive race riots, with clashes stoked by the National Front and the Anti-Nazi League.

The Rose family

Five generations of the Rose family have made their home in the small Derbyshire town of Ripley. Today, former engine fitter Brian, 67, lives with his wife Pat, 65, just streets away from their son Paul, 46, and his wife Wendy, 42, and the couple’s two sons, Ben, 14, and Adam, 10. Church-going and close-knit, they consider themselves a thoroughly English family.

Paul, a charity shop worker, said: “I’ve never put ‘UK’ on anything. I consider myself English. I used to do morris dancing, like my grandfather in the 1920s.

“I don’t get much free time, but when I do we sit in front of the TV, which I suppose is very English. DIY is my hobby and I’m hoping to do up an old Morris Minor in the garage.

“We go to church as a family every Sunday, which used to be quite an English thing. It is like a big family. We’ve got young children and our oldest member is 98.

“We have quite a lot of holidays in this country – to Cornwall and Sandbanks, which was the best holiday we’ve ever had.

“I gave up my job to look after the kids 10 years ago, which isn’t very typical in England, but it was great because I got to spend more time with them.”

The Rahman family

Shoaib Rahman, 32, lives in Bradford with his wife Nazreen, 33, and his two sons Uzair, six, and 21-month-old Ibrahim. He works in the family restaurant, the Sweet Centre, which his grandfather founded in 1964 after emigrating from Pakistan.

Shoaib said: “I am English. Being English isn’t about race. We’ve been born, bred and educated here. My younger brother is in the RAF – you don’t get much more English than that. But it does depend how you define ‘English’. Being a Muslim is a big part of my life, and religion is a sensitive issue in England. I go to the mosque to pray, that’s very important to me. My son’s first language is English. He goes to Saltaire school. There aren’t a lot of Asians there, and all our neighbours are white, but there is a good community. Our kids play in the street and when it snows all the neighbours come out with shovels. I have experienced racism, but mostly when I was younger.

“I’ve been working here for 16 years. My grandfather started the business in 1964, and I’m the third generation of my family to live and work here. My grandfather presented a box of sweets to the Queen about five years ago.

“I’m interested in the royals because it’s the history of the country and you’ve got to keep up with that. The wedding [Kate Middleton and Prince William] is a big day for this country and for us. My wife is very interested in it. I’m not a massive football fan but support Bradford City. The stadium is just down the road and you feel part of it. We do drink tea, but I’m not sure being English is about stuff like that.”

Through the eyes of others

The Scotsman David Davidson, Politician

“I’m not sure there is such a thing as Englishness, it varies so much. Scots don’t walk through Glasgow in a kilt, on the whole, and the English no longer walk through London in funny hats.”

The Welshman Rob Brydon, Comic

“Scots say, ‘The English can take our land, but never take our freedom.’ The Welsh say: ‘You’ve taken our land: don’t forget our freedom before you go. Thanks for coming!'”

The Irishman Dara O’Briain, Comic

“London is hosting the Olympics, yet you all talk about how terrible the country is… and then there’s that giggly, Carry On attitude to sex, that is unique. But you don’t realise any of this.”



ALICE experiment announces first results from LHC’s lead-ion collisions

November 18, 2010 | 5:50 am

One of the first collisions of lead ions as recorded by the ALICE detector on November 8, 2010.One of the first collisions of lead ions as recorded by the ALICE detector on November 8, 2010.

Scientists from the ALICE experiment at CERN’s Large Hadron Collider have publicly revealed the first measurements from the world’s highest energy heavy-ion collisions. In two papers posted today to the arXiv.org website, the collaboration describes two characteristics of the collisions: the number of particles producedfrom the most head-on collisions; and, for more glancing blows, theflow of the system of two colliding nuclei.

Both measurements serve to rule out some theories about how the universe behaves at its most fundamental, despite being based on a relatively small number of collisions collected in the first few days of LHC running with lead-ion beams.

In the first measurement, scientists counted the charged particles that were produced from a few thousand of the most central lead-ion collisions—those where the lead nuclei hit each other head-on. The result showed that about 18,000 particles are produced from collisions of lead ions, which is about 2.2 times more particles than produced in similar collisions of gold ions at Brookhaven National Laboratory’s Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider.

With the LHC’s lead-ion collisions taking place at more than 13 times the energy of RHIC’s gold-ion collisions, predicting a big increase in the number of particles produced would seem to be a no-brainer. Surprisingly, however, the opposite was true. The majority of theories predicted a number lower than that measured by ALICE, because of a strange property of the world of quarks and gluons, the fundamental particles that make up a lead nucleus.

“Imagine you have a magnifying glass strong enough to be able to look at a lead nucleus,” explains Yale University’s John Harris, a member of the ALICE experiment.  “When you look at the nucleus with the lower magnification, you will see three quarks and a few gluons. As you increase the magnification, you will see the same number of quarks but more and more gluons. When colliding at the higher energies of LHC, we are probing smaller sizes and distances as with the magnifying glass, and there the gluons will play a big role in what happens.”

Among theorists who work to describe what happens in these collisions, one school of thought said that there was an upper limit on how many gluons could be packed into a certain area. So at some point the number of gluons interacting—colliding—with each other would be saturated, and no more particles would be produced. But the measurement published today by ALICE shows that, if that limit exists, it’s not yet been reached at the LHC.

In the second measurement, ALICE scientists looked at events where the lead nuclei didn’t collide head-on, but instead hit each other slightly off-center. By using the ALICE detector to measure properties of particles emitted from these collisions, scientists measured how the system created when the two nuclei collide–the quark gluon plasma–flows.

The type of flow, called elliptic, has also been measured at RHIC and is related to the strength of the interaction between the quarks and gluons within nuclei. Measurements of the elliptic flow at RHIC experiments led to the surprising finding that the quark gluon plasma formed when two gold nuclei collide appears to flow like a “nearly perfect” liquid with almost no viscosity.

“The important thing about any fluid is its viscosity—its resistance to flow,” says ALICE scientist Peter Jacobs from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. “If the particles in the fluid have a high probability of interacting with each other, the fluid has low viscosity, and vice versa. At RHIC we saw that a model with very low viscosity seems to describe the measured elliptic flow very well.”

The new ALICE measurement shows that the elliptic flow in LHC collisions is higher than at RHIC, but Jacobs cautions that it’s too early to translate that measurement into a statement about the viscosity of the quark gluon plasma formed at the LHC.

“Our measurement of elliptic flow is final, but it will take much more discussion with theorists before we know what that means in terms of viscosity,” he adds.

But one thing is already known – a number of theories have been ruled out that predicted that the quark gluon plasma created at the LHC would flow more like a gas.

“We can say that the system definitely flows like a liquid,” says Harris.

Both papers have been submitted to the journal Physical Review Letters.


that this is on the rise means it is DIRECTLY causal…

Suicide and depression on rise across UK


By Nigel Morris, Deputy Political Editor

Thursday, 18 November 2010


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Rates of suicide and depression are rising in a dramatic demonstration of the human cost of Britain’s economic downturn. The “alarming” evidence of the darkening national mood comes as David Cameron draws up plans to measure the sense of “general wellbeing”across the country.


The Independent can disclose that, after falling for years, the suicide rate began increasing as the credit crunch hit Britain.

A Health minister has warned that the Government believes levels of suicide and mental illness are likely to climb further as dole queues lengthen.

The number of people committing suicide rose by 329 to 5,706 in 2008 – the first increase since 1998.

The rate of suicide among men went up from 16.8 per 100,000 people in 2007 to 17.7 per 100,000 in 2008; the suicide rate among women rose from 5 per 100,000 people to 5.4 per 100,000.

New figures yesterday also underlined the financial cost of depression caused by economic pressures.

Almost 427,000 people – evenly divided between men and women – claimed incapacity benefit last year on the basis that depression makes it impossible for them to work. It is the highest figure in a decade and an increase of 15,000 on the previous year.

The condition cost sufferers an estimated£ 9.2bn in lost earnings in 2009.

The cost has jumped by more than £500m in the past year alone. Jo Swinson, the Liberal Democrat MP who obtained the figures, said: “Years of failure to tackle the condition is hitting us all in the pocket. It can force some sufferers out of work now and make reemployment more difficult in the future, which costs the public and private sector billions.”

Alarm about the impact of the economic downturn on rates of suicide and self-harm were also raised in the Commons.

Paul Burstow, the Care Services minister, told MPs: “There is plenty of evidence across the world that in times of recession and high unemployment, rates of mental illness and suicide tend to rise.”

He said the suicide statistics illustrated “in the most dramatic way the human tragedies that took place in the economic downturn”.

Mr Burstow added: “We now need to ensure that economic recovery is matched by psychological recovery from a long and painful recession.”

Research suggests there is a 70 per cent increase in the risk of a person committing suicide if he or she is made redundant. During the Great Depression the numbers of men taking their lives increased sharply.

A survey in May for the mental health charity Mind found the recession was beginning to take its toll in the workplace.

One in 10 employees said they had visited their GP as a result of “recession-induced stress”. One in five said they had become depressed as a result of pressures at work.


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