Mental health patients forced to travel hundreds of miles for treatment despite government pledge

The Observer reports that some mental health patients in England are still having to travel more than 300 miles for hospital treatment two years after the government pledged to end the “completely unacceptable” practice.

The number of patients in crisis forced to move potentially hundreds of miles for NHS help is rising again after falling during the pandemic, separating them from family and support networks and potentially delaying their recuperation.

According to official data seen by the Observer, 420 so-called “out of area” treatments started in February because no local beds were available – up from 240 in February last year. The most recent NHS England records show there are 720 out of area placements deemed “inappropriate”, risking the patient’s recovery.

Full story in The Observer, 21 May 2023