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29.09.16

Pilot sites to tackle out-of-area mental health patient placements go live

Six pilot sites will go live on 1 October with the aim of stamping out the placement of mentally ill young people and adults in hospitals outside their local area, after receiving official backing at the NHS England board meeting today.

NHS England will distribute a £1.8m budget between six areas, where mental health trusts, independent sector and charitable organisations will share funding to develop new clinical pathways and models of care.

The plans, to be completed by December 2016, should set out ways to prevent avoidable admissions, reduce the length of in-patient stays and eliminate clinically inappropriate out-of-area placements.

Claire Murdoch, NHS England’s national director for mental health, said: “This marks another step in implementing the Mental Health Five Year Forward View. Today’s action will help ensure that patients are treated as close to home as possible, and help reduce the need to send some of our most vulnerable people miles across the country to receive vital treatment.”

Eliminating out-of-area placements for children and young people is one of the targets of the Mental Health Forward View.

Out-of-area placements make it harder for families and local clinicians to visit patients, leading to longer lengths of stay and fragmented recovery.

Two of the pilot sites will use the funding to increase community crisis care for children and young people, reducing the numbers who need to be admitted. They are Tees, Esk and Wear Valley FT in Yorkshire and a partnership in West London, led by West London NHS Trust.

The other four pilots will focus on relocating patients in secure mental health services closer to home and addressing their surrounding social care needs so they return to the community. These partnerships are led by Birmingham and Solihull FT, Oxleas FT, Oxford Health FT and Devon Partnership NHS Trust.

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