Concerns over unused beds allocated to dangerous psychiatric patients

Politicians question whether the state funding could have been better spent elsewhere

Concerns are growing that 150 beds, which have been set up in secure surroundings for mentally-ill patients considered a danger to society, will remain empty, reports Jyllands-Posten.

As part of the government’s latest 400 million kroner psychiatric care package, the provision was made to allocate the beds in the hope that fewer employees at psychiatric homes would be attacked.

Five have lost their lives at the hands of patients in the last four years.

READ MORE: Psychiatric organisation: Action needed to deal with ‘huge failure’ in dealing with patients

Growing trend
However, 15 beds provided at a psychiatric home in Vejle have remained empty since their introduction on March 1, and fears are growing that the trend will continue elsewhere.

In Greater Copenhagen, for example, where 47 beds will be made available, the municipalities estimate they will only require 25.

Municipalities to blame
Sophie Hæstorp Andersen, the head of the Capital Region, questions whether the money could have been better spent elsewhere in psychiatric care, as the beds appear to be a “nuisance the municipalities apparently do not want”.

Dennis Kristensen, the chair of the FOA trade union, warns that not using the beds will “compromise employee safety”.

While Ellen Trane Nørby, the health minister, says the municipalities’ stance is inexcusable.

“Get going,” she urged them. “This is for the good of sick citizens in need of better help and improving employee safety.”