More than 100 mental health patients in West Yorkshire have been long distances from home for treatment because of a lack of beds.
Latest figures from the NHS reveal that 110 mental health patients in the region with acute needs were subject to “out-of-area” placements between August and October this year.
That means they were sent to a unit outside the catchment area of their mental health service in order to receive the in-patient treatment they needed.
In the vast majority of cases, 100 in total, it was due to a lack of beds – deemed an “inappropriate” out-of-area placement by the NHS.
Of the total number of out-of-area placements, five were more than 300km (186 miles) away from their mental health service – more than the distance between West Yorkshire and London as the crow flies.
A further 10 placements were between 200km and 299km away – at least the distance from West Yorkshire to Cambridge.
By the end of October, 80 out-of-area placements from the West Yorkshire area were still active. Over the three months before then, 110 placements had started and 90 had ended. Around 10 of the placements that had ended during that time had gone on for at least 31 nights.
The placements cost health chiefs in West Yorkshire about £500 a day to place an acute mental health patient in a bed outside their local network. That works out as a bill of £3.4m over the course of the three months.
Nationally, 1,965 mental health patients were sent for treatment outside of their local area between August and October.
Of the 1,975 that had ended over the same period, 445 had gone on for at least 31 nights, while 75 patients were treated more than 300km away from their local area. The total cost of these out-of-area placements was £37.1m.
All the numbers in the report are rounded to the nearest five to prevent identifying individual patients.