Shelagh Fogarty is Leading Britain's Conversation.
7 January 2017, 13:48
Katy from Feltham works in crisis mental health care and said the comments from the Red Cross are entirely accurate in this powerful interview with Andrew Pierce.
The Red Cross has said the NHS is in a "humanitarian crisis", and the comments have been met with some criticism.
But this caller, who works in adult mental health crisis care alongside an NHS trust in London, says that's exactly what it is.
Kate from Feltham said: "The phrase 'humanitarian crisis' is exactly what's happening.
"The issue for me right from point of admission right the way through to discharge back into the community because there are blocks right along the way.
"It's resulting in a situation whereby people are being turfed out of hospitals when they are still unwell. Community teams are incredible under-resourced and under pressure.
"There's no housing, so you end up in a situation where you have people who have no fixed abode, who have been discharged effectively to the street, and because they're not well enough, they become unwell again very quickly.
"It turns into a revolving door system, whereby people are not living their lives because they are in and out of hospital. It actually leads to a huge number of incidents in the community. So that could be somebody taking their own life, getting into trouble with the police, whatever it may be."
She went on to explain how this puts more strain on other services, such as the police: "People who are unwell, police are the only people who have the power to restrain in the community.
"You could have three or four police officers who spend six hours of a shift sectioning somebody under the Mental Health Act and then having to have an ambulance to transport that person to a hospital, where the police will wait with them for two or three hours for that person to be assessed.
"It's systemic process, it's not just at the point of hospital."
Andrew then asked the caller about her feelings on Theresa May's pledge to make mental health care a priority.
Kate responded: "It's a joke. To put it into context, the mental health trust has just closed four wards in the borough. So it's an actual joke.
"Staff teams are cut, community crisis teams are cut, staffing numbers. There is just no finance right the way through to council jobs, and council housing and supported housing. It's just not there.
"The funding is not there right the way through. People are quite literally losing their lives as a result."