To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to ensure that children at risk of harm with complex needs are not given out of area placements in mental health services.
19 November 2021
NHS England and NHS Improvement have made additional funding available for medium term schemes nationally from 2020/21 to 2023/24. Initiatives include additional beds to allow children and young people to receive care and treatment closer to home, training for staff and capital to update units. While it is always the aim that people receive care and treatment as close to home as possible, there are times when a patient may be placed further from home. This may be either outside or inside the ‘natural clinical flow’ in their area, in which patients would usually be expected to utilise a particular service, or group of services.
Patients can be placed appropriately outside of their ‘natural clinical flow’ due to specific circumstances other than the lack of local capacity for the service required, which includes:
- Patient, family or carer choice;
- Placement is close to family or carer;
- Safeguarding reasons;
- Offending restrictions in place; and
- Requires more specialised provision or specific clinical intervention.
Where an appropriate bed type is not available close to home, the admission placement is considered with the prime focus on clinical need and the urgency of the admission.