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30 September 2021

Comment: out-of-area placements for mental health patients must stop

2 mins

This week, The Guardian reported on the government’s failure to meet its pledge to end out-of-area placements in mental health for adults in England. Despite the original deadline of April this year, hundreds of patients are still being sent far from home every month due to a lack of beds in treatment units near their homes. 

Will Whitaker, solicitor in our Public Law and Human Rights team comments:

Sadly, we are often told by mental health patients and family members that people are regularly sent many miles away from their home and support networks when admitted for treatment. Support and family contact invariably helps those in crisis and should be an important part of any treatment plan. Feeling alone and far from home when acutely unwell for any condition will only exacerbate a person’s distress. 

This issue is not just confined to those in hospital – others in care homes, supported living, and sheltered housing are often sent to different counties far away from the places and people they know best. Adequate funding and consideration of this issue is needed to ensure that people who need care have access to treatment – and support – where they need it most.

For more information on the services we provide in relation to this matter, visit our Health and Community Care Law web page.

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