Concern over poor facilities for young people with mental illness

04/02/04

Inappropriate admission of young people with mental disorder to adult psychiatric wards and paediatric wards: cross sectional study of six months activity BMJ Online First Publication

Substantial numbers of young people with mental illness are admitted to inappropriate hospital wards that don't meet their needs, claims new research available on bmj.com on Monday 5 April 2004.

Researchers identified 54 patients aged under 18 on general psychiatric wards and paediatric wards in nine health authorities in England and Wales.

Over half of these admissions were considered to be inappropriate because either there was no suitable facility available or the suitable facility was full or refused the patient.

The number of admissions was low, so projections must be viewed cautiously, say the authors. However, these findings indicate an absolute lack of capacity in child and adolescent inpatient psychiatric units in England and Wales. This is consistent with the views of child and adolescent psychiatrists.

If these admissions are to continue, then skills need to be developed in units receiving these vulnerable young people. If the admissions are to be avoided, further investment in specialist inpatient care, the formulation of alternatives to admission, or both will be needed, they conclude.

Source: Eurekalert & others

Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 21 Feb 2009
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