A HEALTH worker has spoken out about what he calls "the abuse of mental patients' human rights".
The insider - who wants to remain anonymous - has told the Examiner about some shocking cases caused by a lack of beds in Huddersfield.
He says one woman, from Newsome, who had to be sectioned under the Mental Health Act was forced to move to London because there were no beds in West Yorkshire.
Now the woman, in her 30s, can't see her husband and three children regularly.
The insider said: "Because the Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Trust has removed so many beds and shut down wards we are in a dangerous position.
"The focus is on care in the community and that is something I support. But we will always need beds.
"The vast majority of people we treat get a brilliant service and all the staff are fantastic.
"But we can only work with what we have - and that is sadly lacking. People who should be in wards are not and they are a danger to themselves."
The experienced worker also highlighted the case of Daniel Broadbent, who cut his own throat.
Mr Broadbent, 22, was a paranoid schizophrenic.
He slit his throat while social workers were desperately trying to find him a bed.
On that occasion, in August, 2004, he was unsuccessful in his bid to take his own life. But just six weeks later, while still living at home in Reinwood Road, Oakes, Mr Broadbent committed suicide.
"The case of Daniel is a very sad one," the insider said. "Clearly, he was a danger to himself.
"There should have been changes since that tragic case, but there have been none.
"We need more beds to stop this kind of thing happening again. But the beds we still have are threatened as well.
"At present we are having to send patients to Manchester, Doncaster or even London and the trust then has to pay private care homes.
"The costs are frightening. Some places charge more than £400 a day and the trust has to meet that cost.
"Instead of wasting all this money on caring for people outside the area - I estimate it will be costing about £3m each year - we should build a new ward here.
"It would pay for itself within 12 months with the money saved. But I doubt very much that management would be interested.
"There are fewer than 30 beds in Huddersfield. And I fear it is getting worse.
"All the workers care deeply about the job and the people we help. That is why I am speaking out, because I feel these people are not being treated properly.
"If you broke your leg you would not have to go to London to get it fixed.
"But people with mental health issues are treated terribly. I think the reason is because the Government know they can get away with it."
But Steven Michael, deputy chief executive of South-West Yorkshire Mental Health Trust, defended current policies.
He said: "The service changes currently taking place in Huddersfield will not reduce the services we provide or the number of beds available. It is a relocation of services within the area.
"Over time, due to modern mental health practice, hospital beds have been reduced as more care is delivered in people's homes and community settings.
"People recover more quickly in their own homes, while maintaining links with their families and social networks.
"The changes that have taken place over recent years have followed national guidance, which reflects best clinical practice.
"Hospital beds are still valued and available to those who need them."