Mental health services are under pressure in Brighton and Hove after a cut in the number of local beds.
A report this week said that more patients were being sent out of the area and a local private hospital was able to treat just a fraction of those who were being referred to it.
Sussex Partnership Foundation Trust, the mental health trust for the area, told members of Brighton and hove City Council that 55 patients had been referred to the Priory, in Hove, but only eight were admitted.
The report said: “On most occasions referrals to the Hove Priory were declined on grounds of risk and acuity.”
The private hospital does not have a psychiatric intensive care unit. And many of the patients needing beds had “additional complexities around risk, dual diagnosis with substance misuse issues, forensic histories, failed accommodation and tenancies, all of which impact on length of stay”.
The report also said: “While the Hove Priory has been able to provide some additional local capacity it has not had the effect of preventing all out of area admissions.
“This is largely due to other system pressures for mental health beds including the demand at the Hove Priory by private patients as well as demand for beds from other NHS trusts across the south east.”
The report, to the council’s Health and Wellbeing Overview and Scrutiny Committee, said: “The number of residents admitted to a bed outside the city in any week has ranged from zero to fourteen.
“In the last year, since 1 April 2014, a total of 1,513 bed days have been within the private or independent sector.”
Money saved from reducing the number of beds in Hove is earmarked for more community care. But there have been delays in recruiting suitable staff.