Mental health services need action to reduce demand pressure behind out of area placements
06 November 2019
- The Royal College of Psychiatrists has commissioned a report which states that cuts to NHS mental health hospital beds have gone too far in some areas.
- It states that extra properly-staffed beds are needed in those areas to give mental health trusts “breathing space” to tackle high levels of bed occupancy and inappropriate adult out-of-area placements.
- In a year, the total distance being travelled by patients sent far from home for treatment because no bed is available locally is 555,000 miles.
Responding to the independent report commissioned by the Royal College of Psychiatrists, the deputy chief executive of NHS Providers, Saffron Cordery, said:
“We welcome today’s report commissioned by the Royal College of Psychiatrists, which calls for action to reduce the number of people receiving care far from home and relieve the significant pressures mental health trusts are increasingly facing year round.
“In our report, Mental health services: addressing the care deficit, we stressed the need for mental health trusts and the national bodies to continue to focus on reducing the number of people being placed far from home and addressing inpatient capacity problems, whilst recognising the sustained demand on services.
“The report rightly highlights that there are a complex range of factors behind people being placed in services far from home and these placements are often a symptom of pressures on the wider system more broadly.
We need to see the right investment in community services, housing, social care and workforce, as well as broader approaches to reducing demand to be in place and working.Deputy Chief Executive
“We need to see the right investment in community services, housing, social care and workforce, as well as broader approaches to reducing demand to be in place and working. It is also important that the right types of services are commissioned and trusts have the flexibility and right level of capacity and resource to deliver these.
“Additionally mental health trusts must no longer be neglected in the NHS capital investment programme. Trusts must be armed with the right capital budget to build and ensure environments for service users are appropriate and deliver the best possible care as close to home as possible.”