As reported in the Leicester Mercury recently, a patient from Leicestershire with mental health issues was sent almost 200 miles from home on a 6 hour round trip to receive treatment.
Figures released by Leicestershire Partnership Trust showed that from April 2016 to January 2017, 121 adults and 8 children from the county, were treated outside Leicestershire at a cost of over £3 million. This cost was an increase from £2.6 million in 2015/2016. An accurate comparison with previous years is not possible as the Leicestershire Partnership Trust did not record the number of children who had to go out of Leicestershire before 2016.
It was reported that in the past 12 months, 99 of the adult placements were made because no beds were available on local mental health wards. In addition, 19 women who required psychiatric intensive care had to be treated elsewhere because the Trust had insufficient funds to provide the service.
A spokesman for the Leicestershire Partnership Trust conceded that it is never ideal to send patients away from their home and family and when this cannot be avoided they are sent to “the closest available place which is clinically appropriate for their needs.”
The concern this raises for patients was acknowledged by Dr Andrew Molodynski, a Consultant Psychiatrist at Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust. He admitted that “being sent far from home can impact on a patient’s care and recovery, the huge distances often involved rules out regular visits from friends and relatives at a time in their lives when their support matters most”
The Leicestershire Partnership Trust are looking into introducing an inpatient service in Leicestershire for women needing psychiatric intensive care, so that more patients can be treated within the county.
Moosa-Duke Solicitors are specialists in all aspects of clinical negligence matters and have a specialist experience of dealing with claims involving vulnerable clients. If you have concerns regarding the care or treatment that you have received, please contact us on 0116 254 7456 for a no obligation conversation.