Norfolk and Suffolk mental health trust named among worst for out-of-area placements

Mental health patients in Suffolk and Norfolk are being forced to seek treatment away from home in higher numbers than almost anywhere else in the country, new figures have revealed.

Figures compiled by the British Medical Association (BMA) show a shocking rise in the number of patients being sent out of area for treatment, with the Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust (NSFT) named among the four worst offending trusts nationwide. It sent 359 patients out of area in the first nine months of the 2016-17 financial year – an increase of almost 41 per cent on the entire previous year – forcing them, on average, to make round trip journeys of more than eight hours by public transport and five hours, 10 minutes by car.

The BMA’s findings also revealed the NSFT is spending millions of pounds more on placing patients in out-of-area beds, £2,955,600 more in the same 2016-17 period than all of 2015-16.

Full story in Bury Free Press, 28 June 2017