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Home Industry News Young mental health patients ‘being sent to hospitals far from home’

Young mental health patients ‘being sent to hospitals far from home’

10th May 2017

A growing number of young people with mental health issues are being admitted to hospitals located far from their homes, according to a new report.

Figures obtained from NHS England under the Freedom of Information Act by the British Medical Association (BMA) have indicated that 69 percent of children and adolescents with severe mental health problems were admitted to hospitals outside of their areas in 2016-17.

This was up from 57 percent the previous year, indicating that access to nearby beds for these patients has deteriorated significantly since 2014, when the proportion of admissions classed as out-of-area was still below 40 per cent in all English regions.

The report also indicated that wide variations continue to exist across England in terms of access to child and adolescent mental health inpatient services. For example, the number of patients admitted to beds out of their area more than doubled in the south-west and rose by 92 percent in Yorkshire and Humber, while falling by 88 percent in the east of England.

Gary Wannan, chair of the BMA committee on community care, said: "In some areas, we have seen the rate of investment improve so patients don't have to be treated so far from home; in others areas, patients haven't been so fortunate."

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