Mental Health: Charles Walker calls for action on out-of-area transfers for children

Charles Walker welcomes Government focus on child and adolescent mental health but asks what is being done about out-of-area transfers where children are found beds 200 or 300 miles away from home.

Mr Charles Walker (Broxbourne) (Con)

I welcome the Secretary of State’s focus on child and adolescent mental healthcare, but what is he going to do about out-of-area transfers, which too often mean that children are found beds 200 or 300 miles away from their home? That is not in anyone’s interest, and it certainly is not in a child’s interest to be that far away from their support network.

Mr Hunt

I thank my hon. Friend for his continuing campaign on mental health issues. He is right to say that this situation is completely unacceptable, not least because if we want a child to get better quickly, the more visits from friends and family they can have, the better it is and the faster their recuperation is likely to be. We have commissioned 56 more beds, so the total number of beds commissioned for children is at a record 1,442, but we are determined to end out-of-area treatments by the end of this Parliament.

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