More than 90 patients from Gloucestershire have travelled out-of-county for mental health treatment in the last three years partly because there’s not enough beds locally.

And more than a third of the 91 patients who were sent to non-local beds for mental health treatment were children, according to a Freedom of Information request.

Between 2017 to December 2019, the largest number of patients needing to go out-of-county for treatment was 60 in 2018/19.

NHS England, which responded to the FOI, could not reveal the distances patients had to travel out of Gloucestershire.

It also said there reasons patients would leave the county for treatment were due to insufficient capacity locally, appropriate placements in patient flow, and only certain units outside Gloucestershire were willing to accept them.

A spokesman from the local NHS said it takes up placements out-of-county when “clinical needs can’t be met more locally”, adding there are no plans to create more mental health units in Gloucestershire.

Of the 91 patients, 36 were aged below 18.

 A statement from Gloucestershire Health and Care NHS Foundation Trust and NHS Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group said: “There are occasions when demand for mental health beds in the county exceeds capacity.

“When this happens we will seek an out of area placement. We try to arrange these as close to home as possible, but our priority is always the safety and clinical need of the patient.

“Where clinical needs can not be met more locally, we will take up placements which are further from Gloucestershire.

“At present, there are no plans to increase the number of mental health units in Gloucestershire.

“In line with national guidance, we aim, where possible, to support people to stay safe and well in the community through a number of initiatives, including working closely with housing providers.”