Responding to the BMA investigation about out-of-area mental health provision, Rebecca Cotton, Director of Policy at the Mental Health Network, which is part of the NHS Confederation, said: “There has been much hard work across the sector to reduce the number of inappropriate out-of-area placements, but there is still a lot to do. There is still too much variation in the care available to people across many regions of the country, so we need to get these problems fixed.
“We must stress that not all out-of-area placements are unsuitable; we know that for many people they allow greater flexibility and choice as well as vital access to highly-specialised services that are simply not accessible locally to them.
“But many placements remain inappropriate and involve people being sent away from their support systems for long periods at the most difficult times of their lives.
“We must ensure local mental health services receive the investment promised if we are to see more people enabled to access the care and support they need closer to home.”