THERE IS INSUFFICIENT CARE AVAILABLE FOR CHILDREN WITH SERIOUS MENTAL HEALTH PROBLEMS

  • Think Tank found that there is insufficient care available for children with serious mental health problems outside hospitals, which makes them trapped in NHS psychiatric units.

    New figures on mental health showed the following:

    • Between October 2015 and September 2016, children and young people in England spent close to 9,000 days in hospital after their discharge
    • The total number of what the Education Policy Institute (EPI) termed "wasted days" was 42% higher between December 2016 and February 2017 than in the same period in 2015-16
    • In January, under 18's spent 804 delayed days in mental health inpatient units in comparison to 553 in January 2016
    • Children and adults are being treated in adult psychiatric units due to a shortage of beds
    • In October, November and December 2016, 83 under 18's were treated on adult wards for a total of 2,700 days
    • The number of child and adolescent mental health service beds (CAMHS) available for inpatients has risen by 71% since 1999 to around 1,440, although close to half of these are provided by the private sector and not NHS

    The author of an EPI report on children's mental health, Emily Frith, said:

    "Being in hospital for a mental health condition can be a disturbing experience for a young person. for example, there is a risk that they will witness frightening incidents such as another patient's self-harm or that their condition gets worse due to being separated from their friends and family."

    The chief executive of the Royal College of Nursing, Janet Davies also said:

    "The youngest and most vulnerable are being let down by a lack of beds and nursing staff in all parts of the country. Mental health and community care are two of the areas hardest hit by the severe shortage of nurses."

    What do you think?

    Please tweet comments @supportsolutions.

    For more details, visit The Guardian.

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