Lucrative NHS overspill

The position, writes Dalrymple, was this:

The patient could not be admitted until a formal risk assessment had been done, but a formal risk assessment could not be done unless he were admitted. Therefore he could not be admitted.

Dalrymple found the affair strange at first.

Here was private enterprise turning down bona fide business.

But then the reason suddenly came to him.

Private psychiatric hospitals are no longer interested in taking private psychiatric patients. Such patients are likely to be demanding and difficult.

It makes far better commercial sense

for private psychiatric hospitals to allow themselves to be used as overspill facilities for the NHS. The patients are likely to be less demanding, the funding is more assured, you can provide them with cheaper food and fewer comforts, and demand exactly the same money. In short, they are more profitable.

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