If I have an address in one city, can I check myself into hospital in another city in the UK?
September 20, 2011 10:30 PM   Subscribe

If I have an address in one city in the UK (in Wales), can I check myself into the psych ward of a hospital in another city (in England), or will I be transferred back to the first city? This is a situation I need to be sure on before I put myself in the way of possibly being sectioned.
posted by anonymous to Health & Fitness (7 answers total)
This is not worth the risk. Check yourself in.

I don't think they'll transfer you 'just because' - ambulances are needed for other stuff, and patient transfer is expensive.

So go to the hospital already.

(I am not English, Welsh, nor any sort of medical professional.)
posted by titanium_geek at 10:54 PM on September 20, 2011

I agree with titanium geek, but you could give NHS direct a call and see if they can provide any information: 0845 4647 (yup, its an abnormally short number).
posted by biffa at 3:12 AM on September 21, 2011

Mental health charity MIND offer a confidential help line that should be able to offer useful advice.
posted by Abiezer at 4:23 AM on September 21, 2011 [2 favorites]

We don't have enough information to answer the question.

In general the NHS will not transfer you between facilities, unless there is a specific health need that can only be met at your local hospital. Your chance of being sectioned is largely independent of where you are admitted, unless your local psych team have additional information on your past history that leads them to perceive you as high risk.

You can't "check in" to an NHS psych ward. If you turn up at an A&E with suicidal thoughts, evidence of psychosis, or something else that puts you or others at risk, you might be admitted as an inpatient.

If you show up voluntarily, display some insight, agree to be admitted, and comply with treatment, you are unlikely to be sectioned on admission. However, if you are still at risk and you try to leave, they might then section you.
posted by roofus at 4:45 AM on September 21, 2011 [1 favorite]

what roofus said. If you (an adult) turn up at one hospital they will admit you based on your need and will not transfer you unless something very unusual was going on (like say you were having some kind of other concommitent treatment or drug therapy which was free in Wales but not via the PCT in England, I'm trying really hard but I can't come up with a specific example, one of the new Cancer drugs maybe) in other words snowballs chance in hell you would be transferred.
posted by Wilder at 5:07 AM on September 21, 2011

if you look on my profile and I'm anywhere close to you in England I'd be happy to help, please get the help you need. (HUGS)
posted by Wilder at 5:08 AM on September 21, 2011 [1 favorite]

Please call someone like MIND - they'll give you much better advice than we can on the small amount of information given. You need to get the help you need, but bear in mind that mental hospital beds are sometimes difficult to get unless you are a danger to yourself or others; you want to have a backup plan. As said above, you don't just 'check in' to an NHS hospital (of whatever type), you have to be admitted by someone who thinks you're ill enough to justify taking up the bed.

Don't take any of the above to mean that I don't think you're not ill enough, or that you shouldn't try and get yourself admitted if that's what you think is best - just that you might not meet someone else's ideas of who should be admitted. Have a backup plan.
posted by Coobeastie at 6:28 AM on September 21, 2011

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