Norfolk

Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Trust cuts use of out-of-area beds

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Image caption Out-of-area beds are associated with longer stays for patients

The number of mental health patients treated far from home due to a lack of beds has dropped from 75 in April to 12 this month, it has been revealed.

The Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust (NSFT) has faced criticism over patients shipped across the country for treatment.

NSFT chief executive Jonathan Warren said his "top priority" was to stop the necessity of out-of-area placements.

He said he was working "relentlessly" to bring the number of placements down.

Speaking at a meeting of Norfolk County Council's health and wellbeing board on Wednesday, Mr Warren said: "I can only imagine how it must feel for someone to be so distressed to have to use one of our beds, and then for us to have to transfer them out of the county."

Out-of-area beds are associated with longer stays for patients and have cost the trust between £6m and £7m this year, the Local Democracy Reporting Service reports.

Mr Warren added: "Last year we were the third worst exporter of patients in the country.

"We would now be significantly lower than that."

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