Six mental health pilot sites to redesign services and prevent patients being admitted to hospital miles away from home go live on 1 October

NHS England has announced six pilot sites across the country to drive the design of new approaches to delivering children and young people’s mental health services and secure mental health services.

The sites will be tasked with reducing psychiatric hospital admissions and time spent in hospital, putting an end to the practice of adults and young people with mental health problems being sent for in-patient treatment miles away from home.

This practice, known as out of area placements, can make visiting difficult for family members and local clinicians, affecting a person’s recovery and leading to fragmented care and increased lengths of stay.

The pilot sites, made up of NHS mental health trusts, independent sector and charitable organisations will work together, sharing a local budget, to effectively reorganise services in their area.

Two of the six pilot sites will step up the level of crisis care available in the community for children and young people to prevent them from needing to be admitted to hospital, freeing up local hospital beds.

The other four sites will look at re-locating people in secure mental health services closer to home as well as addressing their surrounding social care needs so they can leave inpatient care and re-integrate into the community as quickly as possible.

NHS England’s National Director for Mental Health, Claire Murdoch, said: “This marks another step in implementing the Mental Health Five Year Forward View. Today’s action will help ensure that patients are treated as close to home as possible, and help reduce the need to send some of our most vulnerable people miles across the country to receive vital treatment.”

The sites received official backing at the NHS England board meeting today (29 September) and will begin work on 1 October 2016.

They are:

Adult Medium and Low Secure Services:

  • West Midlands: Birmingham and Solihull FT (with South Staffordshire & Shropshire Healthcare NHS FT and St Andrews).
  • South London Partnership: Oxleas NHS FT (with South London and Maudsley FT, SW London and St George’s NHS Trust, NHSE London Region Specialised Commissioning).
  • Thames Valley and Wessex: Oxford Health FT (with Berkshire FT, Dorset FT, Central and North West London FT, Solent NHS Trust, Southern Health FT, Isle of Wight NHS Trust, Response).
  • South West: Devon Partnership NHS Trust (with Avon and Wiltshire FT, Cornwall FT, Dorset FT, 2gether FT, Cygnet, Elysium Healthcare, Livewell, Somerset Partnership FT).

Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (Tier 4):

  • West London: West London NHS Trust (with Central & North West London NHS FT, Priory and Like Minded).
  • North East and North Yorkshire: Tees, Esk and Wear Valley FT


  1. jk says:

    Please don’t ask adult crisis teams to see adolescents.Already too busy and dangerous with high suicide rates

  2. stephen J tyson says:

    I take it this is a pilot or pilot study? I can sense this is about saving moneys – but since it costs money the PCT’s & trusts deny in their budget – is this Reserve money or does it come from some other reduction? The area of benefit touches on the edge of our services as an advocacy service. that can mean extra work we are essentially not funded for. This used to be called unmet need – but could be a reciprocal contention if other services agreed

    It needs to be clear who is funding this new service ? – that we can all agree would be better.

    So often – money aimed or proposed for mental health goes to replace overspend in other areas.

    it would suggest that new positions will come from the initiative – meaning new recruitment or secondments. (?) Is this in fact what will happen?

    The results will therefore take longer – unless the preparations were begun before the starting date. is there going to be an independent assessment to follow in the following year? will it be published.

  3. Jay Tee says:


  4. gail peters says:

    Can we have some details on the model for adult care for the pilot schemes please

  5. Hannah says:

    This format of mental health services for children and young people has been running successfully for three years within North East Lincolnshire CAMHS (part of LPfT). Conseuqently, the team have been nominated for a number of awards around the positive work that has been undertaken.

  6. Eve smith says:

    I’ll, believe it when I see it…talks talks, it needs to be on the ground…more are going in than coming out!

  7. Anonymous says:

    About time !!

  8. Jak says:

    What about adult mental health resources?!?! A close family member was recently admitted to Royal South Hants. There was nothing wrong with his care there, but it took 4 years for him to get through the system to actually find help. Once in hospital, he was given meds twice a day and only saw a doctor 3 times in 5 weeks. The unit could not provide ANY type councilling or therapy. Now he has been sent home and is on a waiting list for talk therapy. The NHS is very quick to pump people full of drugs but how about trying to solve the problem instead of masking it??

  9. Sylvia Welberry says:

    This is a great move forward. Get started and lets see what the results are then, hopefully, set an example for the rest of the country to follow.

  10. Dr S Nazir says:

    Would like to know the model and funding details please

  11. termite says:

    Mental health care is always the first budgets to be cut, we are promised more and more but get less and less. Services can only provide what they are funded for, so poor services are due to poor funding.

    It is time mental health care became part of general health care to help remove the stigma. If you have HIV, STD’s, you are seen in a general hospital so why are mental health patients sent still sent to units styled on the old asylums with locked doors and prison warder type staff?
    It is time the NHS started treating all folk like human beings, get rid of many of the bosses and provide more nurses.
    Get rid of all the silly awards for staff who are only doing what they are paid to do, spend money where it is really needed, on the patients in need of care.

    • Stopthestigma says:

      Having worked at a unit I can say that we don’t operate as prison wardens – we don’t wear a uniform, we engage with service users we take them out to places, we cook we bake we make things, we sing we dance we talk. We help them to help themselves move on. But yes we are secure because some people are in severe crisis; risk of accidental death, risk of seriously hurting themselves or others, open to manipulation from others in the community and need 24/7 care and support in a safe environment where risk is controlled until they’re able to manage and can be discharged safely. Places SHOULD be operating on least restrictive practice.