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Out-of-area mental health treatment is increasing

28 June 2017

The British Psychological has expressed concern over the number of people being sent far from home for mental health treatment.

New research by the British Medical Association has found that 5876 adults were sent out of area for mental health treatment in 2016/17, a rise of almost 40 per cent from 4,213 in 2014/15.

The findings also revealed that the amount spent on placing patients in out-of-area beds rose by 47 per cent from £108m in 2014/15 to £159m in 2016/17.

Nicola Gale, President of the British Psychological Society, said:

“The data gathered by our colleagues at the BMA on the practice of sending people hundreds of miles from their home and families for treatment shows this has become endemic in the NHS. It inevitably has a serious impact on their care and recovery.

We know as psychologists how important it is for safe care and recovery for people to retain family support, to avoid families having difficulties visiting a relative, as well as essential to have good structures for communication, which is made more difficult when hospitals and mental health services are in different regions.”

The British Psychological Society has long called for parity of esteem between physical and mental health services to become a reality for service users and their families".


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