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NHS to pilot ways to stop sending mental health patients long distances for treatment

BMJ 2016; 355 doi: (Published 03 October 2016) Cite this as: BMJ 2016;355:i5339
  1. Gareth Iacobucci
  1. The BMJ

NHS England is to test new approaches to delivering mental health services in a bid to end the practice of patients being sent a long way from their home for inpatient treatment.

Six pilot sites will be tasked with redesigning young people’s mental health services and secure mental health services, with the aim of reducing psychiatric hospital admissions, shortening inpatient stays in hospital, and eliminating “clinically inappropriate” placements out of patients’ local area.

The number of mental health patients sent out of area for treatment has risen in recent years because of a shortage of inpatient beds, causing much difficulty for patients, their families, and clinicians.

NHS England said that the £1.8m (€2.1m; $2.3m) investment spread across the six sites would help reduce the need to send vulnerable people across the country to be treated.

NHS mental health trusts, independent …

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