To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what recent steps his Department has taken to achieve the Government’s national ambition to eliminate inappropriate out of area placements for mental health services for (a) adults and (b) children and young people in acute in-patient care by 2020-21.
My Rt. hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care is committed to ensuring that patients with mental health conditions can receive treatment as close as possible to where they live.
For adults, inappropriate out of area placements (OAPs) are unacceptable and the Government is committed to delivering the target to eliminate these in non-specialist, acute mental health care by 2020/21.
To support this ambition, we have established a national approach to defining non-specialist acute OAPs and a regular data collection to monitor current activity and progress.
NHS England and NHS Improvement now have a comprehensive national programme supporting reductions in OAPs, and every local area is currently developing a trajectory towards ending this practice by no later than 2021.
The commitment to reduce OAPs has been formalised in the NHS 2018/19 planning guidance and included in the NHS Improvement Single Oversight Framework.
For children and young people, NHS England has a major programme underway to improve inpatient care, by opening between 150 and 180 new beds and ensuring that the right beds are in the right place in the country. The ambition is that by 2020/21 no children are inappropriately admitted or sent out of area to receive anything but the most specialist mental health care.