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SANE comment on rise in out-of-area placements for mental health patients
Added: 10th May 2019

Marjorie Wallace, chief executive of the mental health charity SANE, on the latest figures from NHS Digital showing an increase in the number of mental health patients sent more than 100km from home for hospital treatment: 

“These figures are all the more shocking because the government pledged three years ago that it would end the practice of sending mental health patients out of their area because of local bed shortages by 2020/2021.

“Instead, we find ever more people uprooted from family and community in order to access potentially lifesaving treatment when in crisis. This can undermine their prospects for recovery and puts intolerable pressure on them and their families.

“We also wonder if the government were keeping its pledge, exactly where would all these people go? Without a programme to provide additional, local mental health beds, would they be left to fend for themselves under the care of already overstretched community mental health teams?”

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