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BBC News: Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust: Children in adult wards ‘unacceptable’

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Norfolk & Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust (NSFT) Chair, Gary Page, blames NHS England.

NSFT Director of Nursing, Jane Sayer, blames ‘trends’.

NSFT Chief Executive, Michael Scott, blames NHS England.

The NSFT Board again tries to portray itself yet again as victim not villain but forgets to mention that the NSFT Board was happy to take the axe to Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) to a greater extent than any NHS trust in the entire country.

NHS England references the pitifully-inadequate 46 beds it has opened while allowing a national crisis to develop over many years in CAMHS.

Norman ‘passionate about mental health’ Lamb says nothing now that he is preoccupied with his Liberal Democrat leadership bid.

We haven’t heard from the new Minister of State for Care and Support responsible for mental health, Alistair Burt.

The question we ask is simple: when are there going to be properly-funded mental health community services and inpatient beds for children and young people?

We’re a rich country: it isn’t asking too much, is it? This is a national scandal, as the interim Director of Children’s Services, Sheila Lock, said last month.

If you want to discover more about the reality of being a carer trying to access CAMHS, read this blog by a campaign member [trigger alert].

A Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust board report revealed that in March three people under 18 years were admitted to adult acute wards.

Trust chairman Gary Page said he was concerned about the lack of child beds, the responsibility of NHS England.

NHS England said it had been paying for extra beds for young people.

The report by the trust’s director of nursing Dr Jane Sayer said that under-18 admissions appeared to be an “increasing trend”.

Mr Page told a board meeting: “Having an under 18-year-old in adult wards is unacceptable.”

Trust chief executive Michael Scott told the BBC: “The first concern is for the young people and families.

“Clearly it is unsatisfactory that these young people have to go on adult wards because of a national shortage of children’s beds, which is run by NHS England, which is responsible for ensuring there are sufficient beds.”

A spokesman for the Campaign to Save Mental Health in Norfolk and Suffolk said: “It is completely inappropriate – indeed, unsafe – for children and young people to find themselves on adult psychiatric wards.

“NHS England has failed to react with sufficient urgency and resources to address a crisis which has been growing for years, not months.”

An NHS England spokesman said: “Since August last year we’ve opened an extra 46 beds for children with the most severe mental health needs.

“Many need this care so while beds are available we have asked services to ensure they have plans in place for any young person with mental health problems to receive the right care, in the right place at the right time to suit their individual needs.”

Click on the image below to read Nic Rigby’s article on the BBC News website:

BBC News Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust Children in adult wards 'unacceptable'

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