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Children admitted to Adult Mental Health Hospitals

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Young people with mental health issues are left with no option but to attend adult hospitals due to the lack of spaces at children’s facilities. Research collected from 51 of the 58 NHS trusts throughout the UK reveals how 350 persons under the age of 18 have been admitted to adult hospitals between 2013 and 2014. These numbers are expected to rise.

No Room at Children’s Hospitals

Consultant Child Psychiatrist, Dr Michael McClure, states that it is a common occurrence for doctors to struggle to find beds for children. McClure is also the clinical director of children’s and adolescents’ mental health services at Central and North West London NHS Foundation Trust and believes the current system is failing the UK’s youth, stating: “Sometimes we have to make 50 to 100 phone calls around the country looking for a bed. They [young people] shouldn’t be shunted around into inappropriate facilities, however much the staff there try to help them,”mental health

Travelling Miles for Care

Not only are children being cared for at inappropriate facilities, but in many cases they are being forced to travel extreme distances to receive the care they need. Many young people are being admitted to hospitals over a 100 miles from their homes, making it difficult for them to maintain contact with family and friends during their recovery. Another problem is that adult hospitals do not allow children to visit and therefore those that are admitted are unable to see their friends at all.

More Funding

The Department of Health claims that £54m has already been invested specifically towards the care of young people with mental health problems, but NHS England’s national clinical director for children, Dr Jaqueline Cornish says the ongoing practise of treating children in adult mental health institutions is “totally unacceptable in the majority of cases”.

Cuts to Early Intervention

Many believe the problem lies with the eradication of a range of early intervention schemes, and Sarah Brennan, chief executive of the charity Young Minds, suggests that serious mental health issues could be prevented if being tackled earlier. NHS England has now instigated a three month “rapid review” of its mental health services for children.

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About Denise Morgan

About Denise Morgan

Denise has five years' experience writing for various web-based companies. During this time she has also contributed to magazine articles and brochures. In addition to writing, Denise is a gigging singer/songwriter and is proud to have featured on the first series of BBC One's The Voice UK, having been selected by the great Sir Tom Jones. Denise is mother to the most talented and ridiculously intelligent two year old that has ever been and ever will be (until she creates another one that is). This kind of hyperbole is restricted only to her progeny and is not a reflection of her usual writing styles... Denise and her son live in Manchester along with their five cats - yes that's right, five.

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