The country’s top experts in the field of personality disorder met at the Cassel to discuss the results of a national survey about services for people with personality disorder.
While the survey reveals a real improvement in the provision of personality disorder services, there remains marked variations in their availability. While 84% of English mental health NHS trusts described having dedicated personality disorder services, only half of them said that they were able to provide equal access to these services across the populations they served.
It is estimated that there are currently 2.46 million people with complex emotional needs and personality disorder in England, with this projected to rise to 2.69 million by 2026.
People with personality disorders are more likely to experience adverse life events, relationship difficulties and unemployment and are known to be at particularly high risk of increased mortality as a result of natural and unnatural causes. They attend their GP and accident and emergency departments more frequently, and require more input from social and probation services.
It is estimated that the total service cost of personality disorders in England, including employment costs, was £7.9 billion in 2007 and is estimated to rise to £12.3 billion by 2026.
Dr Oliver Dale, consultant psychiatrist at WLMHT and organiser of the survey and conference, said: “We hope that the outcome of the conference will enable us to set the direction for developments in the care of those affected by personality disorder over the next 10-15 years. Specifically, our ambition is to bring about a network of services so that we can work together to ensure patients and carers receive consistent and high quality care across all trusts in England.”
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