Care Quality Commission | People in rehab for serious mental health problems more likely to face lengthy stays far from home and local support | 2018
The Care Quality Commission (CQC) sent information requests to 54 NHS and 87 independent healthcare providers that manage mental health rehabilitation inpatient services. CQC, working in collaboration with NHS England and NHS Improvement, asked providers for information about the mental health rehabilitation inpatient services that they manage. This included information about the number of locations and wards providing mental rehabilitation services, and the average daily cost of a bed on those wards, the length of each patient’s stay, funding authority and the mental healthcare provider responsible for aftercare. They found nearly two thirds (63%) of placements in residential-based mental health rehabilitation services are ‘out of area’, which means they are in different areas to the clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) that arranged them.
CQC estimates that £535 million is spent on residential mental health rehabilitation annually, with ‘out of area’ placements accounting for around two thirds of this expenditure. The review shows that people in residential mental health rehabilitation services provided by the independent sector are, on average:
- More likely to be further from their homes than those staying in NHS services – 49km compared to 14km.
- More likely to stay there for longer – 14.5 months on their current ward compared to 7.5 months on their current ward in a NHS service.
- At a greater risk of having their aftercare compromised because the managers there are less likely to know which NHS trust would care for them following discharge – 99% of managers of NHS rehabilitation services were able to name the NHS trust that would provide their patients’ aftercare, in comparison to 53% for independent services.
CQC recommend that the Department of Health and Social Care, NHS England and NHS Improvement agree a plan to engage local health and care systems in a programme of work to reduce the number of patients placed in mental health rehabilitation wards that are out of area. (CQC)
Press release available here
Briefing can be read on the CQC website