Mentally ill sent back from Brighton for treatment Brighton News

Critically mentally ill people were sent miles away for treatment because there were no beds available for them in Brighton and Hove, figures show.

Vulnerable people in England see their recovery in jeopardy because they sometimes have to travel hundreds of miles from their homes and loved ones to be treated, according to mental health charity Mind.

In the year through March, critically ill adults spent 3,840 combined days in non-local facilities due to bed pressure, according to statistics showing the NHS Brighton and Hove CCG held up to 130 inappropriate placements outside the zone during this period.

Placements are considered inappropriate when they are due to a lack of beds locally rather than a specific need to send a patient elsewhere.

The government has pledged to eradicate these placements by the end of March, but five critically ill adults in the region were still in the care of non-local support services at the end of this month.

Such placements cost the CCG more than £ 2million during the year, while the average daily cost of an out-of-zone bed was £ 563.

The NHS said the coronavirus pandemic had disrupted progress towards meeting the government’s goal of ending inappropriate placements by March 2021.

Interruptions in health care meant it was harder to keep people well in the community and more difficult to identify signs of escalation or relapse.

And the demand for mental health services has increased, the NHS said, as more people needed help and a higher proportion fell seriously ill before they could access assistance.

The pressure on inpatient care also worsened as staff absence rates increased and infection control measures led to temporary bed closures.

In England, 670 people were being taken care of outside their region of origin at the end of March, and 6,375 inappropriate placements outside the region had been organized during the year.

The associated cost was over £ 109million and more than 1,000 patients had to travel more than 120 miles for treatment.

About 250 placements lasted more than 91 days, based on figures rounded to the nearest five.

Almost all, 96 percent, of the nationally active out-of-zone placements in March were inappropriate.

Mind’s director of external relations Sophie Corlett said the impact of the coronavirus on mental health meant it was increasingly important to have “the right beds in the right places”.

She said: “The number of these placements is still far too high.

“The effects of people awaiting treatment or sent away from loved ones can be devastating, especially for children and young people.

“We need to see solid planning and greater investment in mental health services, so that people can get the help they need, when they need it, close to their homes and existing support networks.

“To do this, the UK government must prioritize urgent investments in community mental health services to prevent people from falling into crisis. ”

Mark Winstanley, chief executive of the Rethink Mental Illness charity, said out-of-zone placements came at a “huge financial cost” to the NHS and risked delaying the recovery of those returned from their loved ones and usual support networks.

This year, the government will invest £ 1.7bn in mental health services, as well as £ 500m to tackle Covid-related pressures.

The NHS said the funding would improve community and crisis care services and support timely hospital discharges, reducing pressure on inpatient services.

An NHS spokeswoman said: “Mental health care providers are committed to ending inappropriate placements out of the area as soon as possible and safe for patients.”

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This notice was published: 2021-06-26 06:00:00

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