1500 patients sent for mental health treatment outside health boards

Scottish Liberal Democrats have warned that mental health units across the country are struggling to cope as they revealed figures showing hundreds of patients are being sent outwith their health board each year to receive treatment.

Additional figures showed that, of the 12 health boards that responded to Scottish Liberal Democrat freedom of information requests, spend on mental health services has increased by £12million in the past three years.

Despite this health boards are still sending hundreds of patients for treatment to other boards across the UK, and key targets for treatment times on mental health have been missed.

Scottish Liberal Democrat health spokesperson Jim Hume MSP said:

“Whilst there will always be times when patients need to be sent to specialist clinics outside of their health board for treatment, it is clear that mental health units across the country are struggling to cope with demand on their services.

“In the past three years around 1,500 patients have been sent outside of their health board for treatment. This is perhaps no surprise given that there is only one CAMHS bed for the whole North of Scotland. Despite a slight increase in spending on mental health services in the same period key waiting times for treatment in mental health services are being missed.

“With mental health problems affecting one in four people in Scotland, SNP ministers must take a long hard look at the adequacy of mental health care provision in Scotland. I support moves towards more patients being treated in their own settings but that principle must be matched with resources. “

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