Monday 17 September 2018 / 11:18 AM Barbara Keeley / Mental Health

New data reveals adults sent hundreds of miles for mental health treatment

New data from Labour reveals adults sent hundreds of miles away for mental health treatment

New data obtained by the Labour Party shows the scale of the crisis facing mental health services, as adults needing inpatient mental health treatment sent hundreds of miles away from home.

The out of area data obtained through the Freedom of Information Act, send to all NHS Mental Health Trusts, and asking for the furthest distances adults had been placed between 2013-17. A number of Trusts could not provide full information, but 36 Trusts responded to the FOI and held the data for at least 1 year between 2013 – 17. Only one trust reported no out of area placements.

  • 35 Trusts reported out of area placements between 2013-17
  • 32 Trusts reported placing adults over 100 miles away between 2013-17
  • 30 Trusts reported placing adults over 150 miles away between 2013-17
  • 24 Trusts reported placing adults over 200 miles away between 2013-17
  • 17 Trusts reported placing adults over 250 miles away between 2013-17
  • 7 Trusts reported placing adults over 300 miles away between 2013-17

For 2017:

  • 28 Trusts commissioned out of area placements in 2017
  • 24 Trusts commissioned placements for adults over 100 away miles last year
  • 17 Trusts commissioned placements over 200 miles away last year

The furthest distance a patient was sent was 325 miles, to a bed in Durham, by Dorset Healthcare University NHS Foundation Trust.

Barbara Keeley MP, Labour’s Shadow Cabinet Minister for Mental Health, said:

“It is appalling that some of the most vulnerable people in the country are being sent as far as 300 miles from their homes and families for want of a mental health bed locally.

“The overwhelming evidence is that out of area placements do serious harm to the recovery of people with mental health conditions, yet the Government is categorically failing to reduce their use.

“This is exactly the type of ‘burning injustice’ the Prime Minister pledged to end; a pledge that has shown repeatedly to be hollow by the Tories’ neglect of mental health services.

“At the last election, Labour pledged to end out of area placements by 2019 and increase investment in NHS mental health services, so that money reaches the frontline.”