Thursday, 6 November 2014

It's all the fault of those long dark nights - Lancaster Guardian

There has been a peak in demand for male psychiatric hospital stays in Lancashire due to “darker and longer nights” and financial worries in the run up to Christmas.

So says the trust.

This suggests that this is a known phenomenon.  That male service users are more likely to be admitted in Autumn when the nights get longer and the run up to Christmas gives them financial worries.

If this is a known phenomenon, then again I have to question why the Trust closed 15 male beds at the start of the autumn.  Why close beds, knowing that you would have a peak in demand?

Why not ask them yourself on @LancashireCare or

They also say
“Temporary, short term changes are not subject to formal consultation to enable the trust to respond accordingly to the changing needs of a locality quickly. “The Trust’s new facilities have been designed with this in mind and feature ‘swing beds’ so that the ratio of male/female beds can be altered in line with demand, which is an ever changing scenario. 

There are indeed swing beds at The Orchard, but the Trust hasn't swung just those beds, it closed the whole of the female ward and made it male only.

It is important to note that there has not been a reduction in the number of available female beds in Lancashire due to this temporary change; there are in fact empty female beds.” 

That's not the point.  The point is that there are no female beds at all in The Orchard meaning that all women from the area are treated long distances from where they live.

Empty beds elsewhere in the trust doesn't mean that it's acceptable to deny all women from the Lancaster area local inpatient care.  It doesn't mitigate the negative effects from being treated away from home for long periods of time.
We know that women have been sent out of area, so we know there is a need for local beds.

The Trust seem to be spectacularly missing the point.


  1. Yeah right. The demand went high due to long nights in September or October? Decision wud've been made long before. Probably when they decided to close the men's ward.
    I was up north then and they weren't paticularly long to my memory. Darker nights? No darker than usual; no sorry, my mistake there was a Lunar Eclipse. Yes that's it, it's the fault of a Blood Moon.
    Aah yes. It's always blamed on the moon.

  2. Indeed. The moon, or a sun spot, the venus transit or even the first frost of the season.

    Or really poor bed planning, possibly.

    Who knows?