Out of area placements – adult services

An ‘out of area placement’ (OAP) occurs when a person with acute mental health needs who requires inpatient care is admitted to a unit that does not form part of the usual local network of services. This means that the person cannot be visited regularly by their care coordinator to ensure continuity of care and effective discharge planning. Patients should be treated in a location that helps them to maintain contact with family, carers and friends, and to feel as familiar as possible with their local surroundings.

People can be placed appropriately out of area in certain situations, for example where there are safeguarding concerns more locally. However, OAPs are considered inappropriate when the reason for placement is the lack of local availability of a bed.

In Greater Manchester work is ongoing to support patient flow and reduce inappropriate OAPs, including:

  • Sustaining high impact discharge schemes including Discharge to Assess models, partnerships with housing associations and other third sector partners
  • Capital developments of specialised Psychiatric Intensive Care Units to support people with more complex needs
  • Working across a North-West footprint to utilise beds in the independent sector via the North West Bed Bureau
  • Development of community rehabilitation models through Community Mental Health Transformation that will allow more people to live in less restrictive settings