Concerns have been raised by the CQC on people with mental health problems being sent to residential rehabilitation services ‘out of area’, leaving them isolated and vulnerable.
CQC found the NHS is spending £350m a year to send these patients more than 60 miles away from their homes and for three years at a time.
Concerns have arisen around the increased sense of institutionalisation and affect on the patient’s onward recovery, which can cost the NHS thousands.
Recommendations have since been made, including for local bodies – CCGs, NHS Trusts and local authorities, to review how appropriate their current placements are of patients in residential mental health rehabilitation services. This is line with the Five Year Forward View for Mental Health, which states that people should not be cared for in restrictive settings longer then they need to be and that the NHS should expand its community-based services to support people to live safely and as close to their homes as possible.