We store cookies on your device to make sure we give you the best experience on this website. I'm fine with this - Turn cookies off
Switch to an accessible version of this website which is easier to read. (requires cookies)

Mental Health patients sent outside Cumbria shows system needs investment - Farron

February 8, 2017 11:43 AM

Data showing that mental health patients had to be sent outside the county for treatment shows that investment is needed in Cumbria's mental health services, according to South Cumbrian MP Tim Farron.

The data, released this week, shows that in December up to four patients spent a total of 108 days at an 'out of area placement', at a total cost of almost £44,000.

The NHS' own guidance points out that 'out of area placements' for mental health in-patient care mean that "the person cannot be visited regularly by their care co-ordinator to ensure continuity of care and effective discharge planning".

Mental health services in the county are provided by the Cumbria Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, which has 150 mental health beds at four sites across the county - Kendal, Carlisle, Barrow and Whitehaven.

Tim said: "These figures show the need to invest further in Cumbria's mental health services. In an area that is already as geographically spread-out as Cumbria, sending mental health patients for out-of-area placements means sending them on huge journeys to places they don't know miles away from their homes and loved ones. Staff and ambulances can end up tied up for long periods transporting patients to outside Cumbria. More importantly, the patients' care is affected because long journey times mean they are likely to be cut off from their families and loved ones, and cut off from their professional support."