NHS Confederation responds to Royal College of Psychiatrists analysis on out of area placements

Sean Duggan OBE responds to new analysis on out of area placements in mental health.

13 June 2022

Responding to new analysis from the Royal College of Psychiatrists on out of area placements in mental health, Sean Duggan OBE Chief Executive of the NHS Confederation's Mental Health Network, said:

“No health leader wants their patients to be cared for further away from home than is absolutely necessary but the sad truth is that the NHS is contending with a rise in demand for people requiring support for their mental health against a backdrop of fewer dedicated beds.

“For example, there has been a 52% rise in emergency referrals for under-18s to mental health crisis care over the last two years while dedicated beds have been cut by 20% over the last five years, meaning choice is limited.  

“This is why leaders continue to be dismayed that of the 48 new hospital building projects promised by the Government, only two are for mental healthcare.

“A step change is needed for how we care for and support people with mental health concerns. This includes giving the NHS the staff and estates it needs to get progress on eradicating out of area placements back on track.

“Mental health providers want more honesty and transparency about the problem, which a new target for eradicating out of area placements could facilitate.”