This is just shameful.
Sadly I have often said that of all the psychiatric referrals I have made over the years first as an A&E nurse, and then for the ambulance service – only a handful have gone without incident.
I've had units refuse patients that they should be taking, and one unit had a mental health nurse accuse me, and the police, of lying in order to get them to see a patient. This goes without mentioning the sometimes awful 'care' that they get for existing medical problems. Or the inability of trained staff to do CPR should one have a cardiac arrest.
Sadly it seems that mental health is still the unwanted child of the NHS.
Today I attended a man with obvious (though undiagnosed) mental health issues. He'd had a fall and had been unable to get up for two days. When we arrived he was laying in his own urine in an unlit bedroom.
The flat in which he lived had no electricity and no heating. It was freezing. There was no food in the fridge.
Needless to say we have referred him to our 'vulnerable adult' team and with luck and a fair wind he'll get a proper psychiatric assessment and then social care input.
For those ambulance people who want to learn a new tool – thank the EMS Garage in an upcoming podcast for highlighting the PEAT scale. (I would have scored this patient as a 21 – referral for assistance).