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Mental health beds are sitting empty in our region while patients are sent hundreds of miles away for treatment, it can be revealed.
Clinical psychologist Chris McKenna has spent £2m transforming his family home in Rougham, near Bury St Edmunds, into a 12-bed inpatient facility for people with serious mental health conditions.
He decided to found 'The Chimneys' after watching his daughter Claire battle anorexia.
The unit, which also has lounges, therapy and treatment rooms, was registered by the Care Quality Commission in March.
But NHS England, which commissions inpatient beds, won't pay for people to go there as they're tied into contracts with other private providers.
It comes as vulnerable, severely-ill people are sent hundreds of miles away for the mental health care they need.
Over the last year, in Norfolk, Suffolk and Essex alone, patients have spent more than 20,000 'bed days' out of area.
NHS England says it sympathises with The Chimney's situation and that it's reviewing its provision for mental health inpatient beds.
Bury St Edmunds MP Jo Churchill says she has visited The Chimneys and raised the issue with NHS commissioners and ministers.
One family, who wanted to remain anonymous, are travelling hundreds of miles every week to see their daughter while she is treated for an eating disorder in London.
They were desperate for her to go to The Chimneys but their request was refused.