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Personality disorder conference at The Cassel

12 Feb 2016

At ‘Shaping the future of personality disorder services’ on Friday 12 February 2016, the country’s top experts in the field of personality disorder will meet at the Cassel Hospital in Richmond. At this conference they will debate the results of a national survey, sponsored by West London Mental Health Trust and the Royal College of Psychiatry General Adult Faculty, about services for people suffering from personality disorders.

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, projected to rise to 2.69 million by 2026 – a 9.3% increase. Those with personality disorders are more likely to experience adverse life events, relationship difficulties and unemployment. 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.  People with personality disorder are known to be at particularly high risk of increased mortality as a result of natural and unnatural causes.

Dr Oliver Dale, consultant psychiatrist at WLMHT and organiser of the survey and conference, said: “This is a rare opportunity for bringing together key stakeholders in the field. 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.”