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Mental Health Services: Out of Area Treatment

Question for Department of Health

UIN 116128, tabled on 28 November 2017

To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what plans he has to reduce Out of Area Placements in Mental Health Services.

Answered on

6 December 2017

The Department is committed to ensuring that patients with mental health conditions can receive treatment as close as possible to where they live. Inappropriate out of area placements are unacceptable and the Government has set a target to eliminate these in, non-specialist, acute mental health care by 2020/21.

To support the delivery of this ambition, in October 2016 the Government put in place the first data collection to secure much-needed national transparency on the number of patients that are sent out of their local area for acute inpatient treatment. The Mental Health Services Dataset has also been updated to enable the Department and NHS England to understand the number and characteristics of people being treated away from home. NHS England is using this new data to support local health systems to develop and deliver trajectories to eliminate inappropriate out of area placements.

More than £400 million has been made available for investment in mental health crisis resolution home treatment teams over the next four years, enabling them to provide 24/7 crisis response and intensive home treatment as a genuine alternative to admission where appropriate.

Shared learning and best-practice advice on reducing out of area placements through improved system capacity management will be included in acute care commissioning guidance.