The NHS is paying £2bn a year to private hospitals to care for mental health patients because it does not have enough of its own beds, according to a report by Laing & Buisson. The independent sector receives about 13.5% of the £14.8bn the NHS in England spends on mental health, a dramatic rise since 2005 when it was paid £951m. Nine out of every 10 of the 10,123 mental health beds run by private operators are occupied by NHS patients.
The NHS’s increasing reliance on independent care providers comes despite some health service bosses’ concerns that there are persistent – and sometimes fatal – problems with the quality and safety of care at many of the mental health units they run.
Full story in The Guardian, 25 April 2022