Letter: Tomlinson's effect on casualties, mental health and community care

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The Independent Online
Sir: Within the Tomlinson report into London's health services is a substantial and direct commentary on mental health services. It has highlighted particular problems that result from the flow into London of vulnerable people with mental illness, addiction problems, alcoholism and multiple social difficulties.

The report has recognised the deficiencies in community-based care and the lack of trained professionals in the mental health field, and has recommended that fully resourced community mental health teams should be developed. Particular attention is paid to the great difficulties faced by acute in-patient psychiatric services and the need for a review of acute psychiatric admission beds. It has also focused on the need for a broader provision of mental health services to patients admitted to medical and surgical beds, and has recommended that such liaison psychiatry services be reviewed.

We strongly endorse these views and, amid the closures and mergers of hospitals that may follow, trust that health authorities will take urgent action to remedy the deficiencies in mental health service provision in London.

Yours faithfully,

DAVID ROY

Clinical Director, Adult Mental

Health

West Lambeth Community Care

NHS Trust

DINSHAW MASTER

Chairman, Mental Health Board

Guy's and Lewisham NHS Trust

London, SW9

26 October

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