Hundreds of mental health beds needed to end out-of-area care

The Royal College of Psychiatrists is urging the NHS to open hundreds of extra beds for people with mental health conditions. It says that the cuts in mental health beds have gone too far, leading to the “shameful practice” of patients being sent hundreds of miles from home to be treated.

Although bed capacity should not exceed 85%, NHS data shows some mental health trusts are operating with all or almost all their beds full. Shortages of mental health beds have led to trusts sending patients out of their home area, often hundreds of miles away from home, in order to get a bed. Mental health experts agree it can harm patients by increasing their distress, separating them from their family and setting back their recovery.

Full story in The Guardian, 6 November 2019