World News

NHS spend £2.5m a week on out of area mental health patients

The NHS spends £2.5 million per week on treating out of area mental health patients, as some patients travel over 300 km for a bed, new analysis has shown.

The figures show that in the last year, the NHS has spent over £128 million on patients who have to be sent hours away from their home because of a lack of hospital beds locally.

The number of out of area placements due to bed shortages rose by four per cent from last year, up to 8,400 across England.

Of these, 2,060 lasted between one and three months and 310 lasted over 91 nights. 

Thousands of patients had to travel hundreds of kilometers away from their home in order to get treatment for conditions such as psychosis, depression of bipolar disorder.

3,350 of these placements took place 100 km or more from the patients home, with 335 of those taking place 300 or more km away, the equivalent of flying from London to Paris.


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