Mental health Trusts across the UK are becoming increasingly dependable on private hospitals to deliver care to patients.

Over five years the NHS spending on private mental health beds went up by 42%. There is a chronic shortage of beds in NHS hospitals, which often means that some patients are placed in private units that are far from home.

A patient affected by this was admitted to a private hospital in Brighton, four hours away from his home. Due to the distance, he had no visitors – so soon it became an ‘isolated situation’ for him.

The patient stated “It was the threat of recall that made the whole experience far worse.” That is, the threat that he would be moved to an NHS hospital when a cheaper bed became available.

The uncertainty of not knowing if you are going to be moved around a lot has impended recovery for many patients.

An NHS spokesperson said it was “committed to cuffing the number of people travelling long distances, so they receive the best mental health care and treatment at home or as close to home
as possible.”

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