The cost of care

Was listening to the radio yesterday as you do and one of the main local news stories was how my local PCT spend less than the rest of the county on mental health care. A grand total of £136 per person per year. This may explain a lot. According to the BNF my medication, Efexor XL, costs £39.03 a month, that’s £468.36 a year. This means that even before I start accessing therapy, I’m already using more than three times my annual quota of funding. And when you start considering the cost of people resident in psych hospitals… OK, it is an average and so the effect is dampened by people who take a 69p box of fluoxetine 20mg a month but still. It’s no wonder I can’t access any help. I despair I really do. Until mental health is properly understood and accepted  people won’t realise that the large initial cost for therapy is sill less than the long term cost of keeping people medicated and hours lost through an inability to work etc, never mind the personal cost to sufferers. I know therapy isn’t a perfect solution and won’t work for everyone, but for a lot of cases…

Oh, and before the rest of you start celebrating that you live somewhere with better funding, the average spend nationwide is still only £168 per person per year. Not a lot is it?


4 Responses to The cost of care

  1. cbtish says:

    That’s exactly the logic behind the current “Improving Access to Psychological Therapies” programme — that making therapy more easily available in the NHS will save money in the long run.

    It’s a mistake to assume that more spending means better treatment, though. An area that spends more might simply be wasting more on ineffective treatments and bureaucracy.

  2. Mental Health has always been a cinderella service. It just doesn’t draw the public attention or sympathy like say, sick children. So the PCTs get away from diverting money away from MH services to more high profile areas.

    Sucks doesn’t it?

    Take care,

  3. anickdaler says:

    I agree that the more spending = better treatment approach doesn’t necessarily work – you could just end up with loads more managers and no more care, the money would have to be carefully directed and organised (although then they’d probably argue you need more managers to do so…). I guess I just want everyone to be able to access the best possible care without having to face the consequences of waiting years to do so.

  4. aims says:

    Now you’ve got me wondering what it is here in Alberta. I’ll have to do some research.

    From my own experience I found that my psychologist was better for me than my psychiatrist. Always something to keep in mind when you’re finally sitting in that chair.

    Good grief. I feel for you girl!

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