Brighton and Hove’s mental health trust sent emergency patient to Cornwall

Posted On 06 Feb 2015 at 5:48 am

The NHS mental health trust serving Brighton and Hove sent a patient 250 miles away to Cornwall to the nearest available emergency bed, a Hove councillor said this week.

Councillor Dawn Barnett said that the patient was being treated locally the next day.

But her comments illustrate the extent of the difficulties being faced by the Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust.

Bosses at the trust declared a state of “business continuity” last week, saying that more than 20 emergency patients were being treated in private beds because of a shortage of NHS beds.

This can men that patients are treated away from home, family, friends and support networks.

And the private beds end up being paid for from NHS funds.

Earlier this week Lorraine Reid, managing director of adult services for Sussex Partnership, said: “Across the country the NHS is experiencing high levels of demand, both in physical and mental health.

“This affects the whole NHS system including mental health trusts like us.

“This is not just about beds but about a high level of demand throughout the system and January often sees a spike in physical and mental illness, both of which overlap.

“Our systems allow us to step up the amount of support and resources for services when demand becomes higher than usual, that is what we did at the end of last week.

“Everyone will get the treatment they need, whether that is in a hospital or elsewhere.

“Our staff are working extremely hard to deal with these pressures and will continue to do so.”

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