Nikki Fox of the BBC reports:
Mental health campaigners are “incredulous” five beds for children are unused when 20 patients are being treated “out of the area”.
Norfolk & Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust (NSFT) created a 12-bed unit in Lowestoft, costing £1m, in September.
NHS England said it provides funding to staff seven of the beds and said a national review of needs was under way.
But, the NSFT said with the centre’s “excellent facilities”, it did not see why patients are placed elsewhere.
And Anne Humphrys, from a local mental health campaign group, said: “We already know there aren’t enough beds across the UK.”
The trust said it currently has to send 20 young patients out of area, due to a lack of beds locally.
Ms Humphrys, of the Campaign to Save Mental Health Services in Norfolk and Suffolk, said she was “incredulous there are five empty beds”.
“Moving out of your local area is more traumatic for young people and their families when they are already emotionally drained, especially if they can’t afford to travel,” she said.
Michael Scott, chief executive of NSFT, said: “It is hard to understand why NHS England are still placing children out of area when we have provided such excellent facilities close to home.”
It is shameful to treat young people in crisis and their families in such an appalling manner, transporting them across the country. They can’t wait until sometime after 2017-18. Maybe.
NHS England is an unaccountable and incompetent disgrace.
What a scandalous waste of taxpayers’ money.
Click on the image below to read Nikki Fox’s article in full on the BBC News website: