Mind responds to report from Royal College of Psychiatrists showing the shortage of mental health inpatient beds across the country

Wednesday, 06 November 2019 Mind

Mind has responded to a report from the Royal College of Psychiatrists which shows:

  • 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 – the equivalent of going around the world 22 times

  • On July 31, 745 people were being treated inappropriately out of area, official figures show

  • An estimated 1,060 more mental health beds are needed to reduce bed-occupancy rates to acceptable levels alone

Vicki Nash, Head of Policy and Campaigns at Mind, the mental health charity, said:

“These figures are a stark reminder of the growing crisis in mental health services. As demand increases, it is tantamount to negligence that beds are being cut in some areas without a viable alternative.

“The NHS promised to completely eliminate inappropriate out of area placements by 2021 and yet as recently as July hundreds of people were still being sent hundreds of miles from their home to receive care. This can worsen people’s chances of recovery, increase their risk of suicide and have a devastating impact on family and friends.

“Current plans to manage demands simply aren’t working. The planned expansion of community mental health services can’t happen soon enough, so that more people are able to access care closer to home. Commissioners must do whatever it takes to ensure people get the right care, in the right place, at the right time – whether that’s an inpatient bed or support in their community. We need an urgent solution to this shocking state of affairs.”

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