Mental health travel 'unacceptable'

Mental health patients travelling up to 79 miles for bed ‘not acceptable’

  • 2 May 2015
  • From the section England
A man silhouetted in a window
Vicki Nash, head of policy and campaigns at mental health charity Mind, said if someone is sent far away for treatment they are less likely to get support for friends and family

Mental health patients having to travel as far as 79 miles (127km) for a bed is “not acceptable”, the charity Mind has said.

A report looking at the 226 English clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) in October 2014 says the average journey for a patient was 13 miles (22km).

But six teams saw patients travelling on average more than 100km (62 miles).

Patients in Brighton and Great Yarmouth and Waveney faced the longest average distance, NHS statistics show.

Vicki Nash, head of policy and campaigns at mental health charity Mind, said: “When someone is in a mental health crisis, they are at their most vulnerable.

2A good support network of friends and family can play a key part in recovery, but if someone is sent far from home… friends and family may be less likely to be able to visit.

“We know that bed numbers have been dropping over the last few years, making it harder for people to get the help they need, when and where they need it. It’s not acceptable.”

grey line
Average distances travelled by patients at CCGs and local area teams
CCGs and health teams Number of patients Average distance travelled for bed
Brighton and Hove 5 127.6km (79.5miles)
Great Yarmouth and Waveney 5 127.4km (79.2 miles)
Vale of York 10 118.2km (73 miles)
Leicestershire and Lincolnshire Local Area Team 645 106.3km (66 miles)
Bristol 20 104.4km (64 miles)
Bristol, North Somerset, Somerset and Gloucestershire Local Area Team 20 102.4 (63 miles)
grey line

The Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC) report said the majority of people had a distance of less than 10km (6 miles), but one in 10 people (1,665) had a distance of 50km (31 miles) or more and one in 20 (778) people have to travel 100km (62 miles) or more.

The report says: “The data shows that people living in the South and East of England, particularly in CCGs covering large geographic areas, such as NHS Ipswich and East Suffolk CCG (median of 94.4km to treatment for 15 people treated) are more likely to travel further to treatment on average.”

A spokesman for HealthEast, the CCG for Great Yarmouth and Waveney, said: “Beds for mental health patients are arranged by Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust, who will look for the closest available appropriate bed to the patient’s home.

“It is important to note that patients living in Great Yarmouth and Waveney are only placed out of the area very occasionally and when appropriate.

“We will continue to work with the mental health trust to ensure people are treated as close to home as possible.”

A spokesman for Ipswich and East Suffolk CCG said: “Geographically, the Ipswich and East Suffolk CCG covers a large area, and in its report, the HSCIC recognises this as a major factor affecting distances travelled by the 15 east Suffolk mental health patients.

“The priority of the CCG is to always place patients in the most appropriate care setting as close to home as possible, and this happens in the majority of cases.”

A spokeswoman for Bristol CCG said it was “working in partnership with Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust to prevent anyone being transported out of area for their care and treatment”.

This entry passed through the Full-Text RSS service – if this is your content and you’re reading it on someone else’s site, please read the FAQ at

BBC News – Health

  1. I do accept as true with all of the ideas you’ve offered in your post.

    They’re really convincing and can certainly work.
    Still, the posts are too short for newbies. Could you please lengthen them a bit from subsequent time?
    Thanks for the post.

  2. I am truly delighted to glance at this web site posts which consists of lots of useful data, thanks for providing such statistics.

  3. Thank you for the good writeup. It in fact was a
    amusement account it. Look advanced to more added agreeable from you!

    However, how could we communicate?

  4. Thanks on your marvelous posting! I genuinely enjoyed reading it, you’re a
    great author.I will make sure to bookmark your blog and will often come back from now on. I want to
    encourage one to continue your great work, have a nice day!

  5. Hmm is anyone else encountering problems with the pictures on this blog loading?
    I’m trying to figure out if its a problem on my end or if it’s the blog.
    Any feedback would be greatly appreciated.

  6. Thank you a bunch for sharing this with all of us you
    actually recognise what you’re speaking approximately!

    Bookmarked. Kindly also discuss with my website =).
    We can have a hyperlink exchange arrangement among us

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.