Skip Navigation

Out of Area Placements in Mental Health Services - December 2016

Publication date: 09:30 February 07, 2017


This report presents early findings from the Out of Area Placements (OAPs) collection. The collection is expected to capture the details of all OAPs in England from both NHS and independent providers. This collection is running for an interim 12 month period only to allow necessary changes to the Mental Health Services Dataset (MHSDS) to be implemented. The MHSDS is the chosen mechanism for the long term collection of this data.


This report is the third monthly report of Out of Area Placements (OAPs) and it should be interpreted with caution due to likely shortfalls in coverage, similar to the first  two reports.


The Government set a national ambition to eliminate inappropriate Out of Area Placements (OAPs) in mental health services for adults in acute inpatient care by 2020-21. Inappropriate OAPs are where patients are sent out of area because no bed is available for them locally which can delay their recovery. It is essential to introduce a collection of OAPs data in order to monitor progress towards achieving the ambition and to understand where and why OAPs are happening. Having this information is critical to improving patient care and ultimately eliminating the practice of inappropriately sending patients out of area to receive acute inpatient care. This collection is for providers in England only.


This report is being published as Experimental Statistics in order to get user feedback, show some detailed breakdowns for where data have been submitted and improve providers' data quality.

Key Facts

· 46 organisations have participated in the collection which means they have submitted at least one OAP active during the period out of 58 organisations in scope for the collection.

· From the submitted data, there were 528 OAPs active at the end of December 2016, of which 96 per cent were due to unavailability of a local bed (an inappropriate OAP).

· It should be noted that these figures are based on OAPs that have started since the beginning of the collection, i.e. 17th October 2016. Therefore, this report is only based on new placements as of this date.


Date Range: 17 October 2016 to 31 December 2016
Geographical coverage: England
Geographical granularity: NHS Trusts, Mental Health Trusts, Independent Sector Health Care Providers

Have a question? Call us on 0300 303 5678 or contact

Tell us what you think of the new website beta.

We use cookies to provide you with a better service. Carry on browsing if you're happy with this, or find out how to manage cookies. Find out more