Rotherham’s Acute Mental Health inpatient wards have been at ‘maximum capacity’ since April, said the region’s Care Director.

Matt Pollard, Rotherham’s Care Group Director, told councillors at times, there was 100% occupancy on the wards amidst a surge in the needs of adults in Rotherham. Most of these patients were detained under the Mental Health Act.

He said: “Pre-pandemic and up to three to four years ago, the balance between informal patients and those detained under the mental health act was very different. “The level of acuity and complexity over the last few months has certainly been far higher than I think most of the staff have experienced previously”.

The adult mental health inpatients hospital in Rotherham, Swallownest Court, houses two acute wards; Sandpiper and Osprey, a psychiatric intensive care unit (PICU); and a rehabilitation ward.

Mr Pollard also revealed at of the beginning of this week, the PICU was just under 95% occupancy. Between April and August 2021, six patients from Rotherham were accommodated in out-of-area beds due to no local beds being available.

Mr Pollard stated: “We always work really hard to repatriate patients to a hospital bed in their own home area as soon as possible as this is the best place for them and for their families.

“It allows families and friends to support their loved ones more easily, enabling the patient to progress better so they can return home, with the appropriate health and support packages, at the earliest opportunity.”

If you are struggling with your mental health and need someone to talk to, contact the Samaritans helpline for free by calling 116 123.  Lines are open 24/7. In a life-threatening emergency, call 999.