Too many mental health patients treated far away from home, a new CQC report says

Statement / comment
01 March 2018

A new briefing from the CQC has criticised how many patients in mental health rehabilitation inpatient units are treated away from home.

Dr Rajesh Mohan, chairman of the Royal College of Psychiatrists’ rehabilitation faculty, said:

“That nearly two thirds (63%) of placements in residential-based mental health rehabilitation services are out of area is deeply worrying.

“As with any mental illness, rehabilitation patients should only be treated out of area if they need access to specialist services.

“The reason more and more patients are being sent inappropriately out of area is because NHS rehabilitation services have been closing at an alarming rate - in 2009 there were more than 130 such services in England; by 2015 that number had fallen by a third to just 82.

“Patients treated many miles from home take longer to recover partly because they don’t have ready access to their friends and families, whose support is so vital in aiding their recovery.

“That’s why we’re calling on the Government to reverse this alarming trend and ensure every part of the country has comprehensive inpatient and community rehabilitation services. That way, as many patients as possible would be treated locally.

“This report highlights what we have known for many years – that long-stay, locked rehabilitation services have no therapeutic value and can be hugely expensive.”

Read the full CQC briefing.

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