Patient in bedThe Independent Commission have stated in a recent report that sending mentally ill adults in England long distances to receive care is “unacceptable” and must end.

The board of experts, led by chairman Lord Crisp (ex-NHS Chief Executive) agreed that the practice of sending patients (the current number says some 500) more than 50km away from their homes to receive suitable care should be stopped entirely by October 2017.

The board also aims to introduce a maximum waiting time of 4 hours for psychiatric care (whether that’s in hospital or in the community) after an initial assessment.

The report has been backed by the RCP (Royal College of Psychiatrists) and recommends changes to how services are commissioned. RCP’s President Simon Wessely said “The answers lie not in just providing more beds, although there are definitely places where that might help in the short term, but assessing the entire system”.

Lord Crisp agreed that the nationwide search for beds for severely ill mental health patients was inadequate across the UK and, in some cases, potentially dangerous.

The report is part of new measures to help ensure that patients with mental health problems are treated equally to patients with physical health problems.

Click here to read the BBC News Report. 

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