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Mirror: NHS crisis: Teen mental health patients put on ADULT wards in bed shortage

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NHS England, a leaked email reveals, have told regional health bosses the shortage of beds is so bad that older teenagers are set to be admitted to adult wards

The NHS beds crisis plumbed new depths as hospitals were advised to put teenage mental health patients onto adult wards.

NHS England, a leaked email reveals, have told regional health bosses the shortage of beds is so bad that older teenagers are set to be admitted to adult wards.

According to the Mental Health Act, 16 to 18-year-olds should only be put into adult care in a “crisis situation”.

Labour’s Luciana Berger, Shadow Minister for Public Health, said it was appalling.

She blamed £50million of cuts to children’s mental health services in five years.

It is no surprise that this is happening in East Anglia. Norfolk & Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust (NSFT) implemented the deepest cuts in child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS) anywhere in the country as measured by NHS benchmarking: three times the national average. Now, the consequence of the decimation of community mental health services for our most vulnerable children and young people is that inpatient services are overwhelmed.

Sadly, but unsurprisingly:

  • Norfolk & Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust (NSFT) is the trust with the biggest cut in budget for CAMHS in the entire country in the latest national benchmarking – a cut of three times the national average
  • NSFT is the second worst performing trust in the entire country for CAMHS re-referrals – again three times the national average
  • NSFT has the highest number of formal CAMHS complaints in the country
  • NSFT has the third highest number of incidents of actual physical violence to CAMHS patients in the country
  • NSFT has the second highest number of incidents of actual physical violence to staff – six times the national average
  • NSFT is the worst, and seven times the national average, for incidents of use of restraint
  • NSFT came out as the fifth worst Trust of the 51 who responded to a BBC Freedom of Information Request about the number of children across the country being admitted to adult mental health units. In 2011, NSFT sent 13 under 18s to an adult mental health unit, rising to 16 for both 2012 and 2013.

All these benchmarks indicate a service and staff under intolerable stress and inadequately funded. Should we allow our young people to be treated like this? Of course we shouldn’t!

Norman Lamb tries to present himself as a mental health champion by talking about fifty new inpatient beds nationwide and appearing in photo opportunities with youth services. But he has overseen huge cuts to mental health many times larger than his photo opportunity initiatives. At Saxmundham, Lamb wouldn’t even admit the Health & Social Care Act, creating NHS England and the Kafkaesque CCGs, has been a disaster.

Where is the local MP and minister responsible now that the crisis has erupted? Yet again, he runs away and leaves facing the consequences of his actions to an NHS England spokesman.

We’re well aware of the modus operandi of duplicitous and cowardly Norman Lamb.

Norman ‘mental health champion’ Lamb should resign in shame.

Read Ben Rossington’s full article by clicking on the image below:

Mirror NHS crisis Teen mental health patients put on ADULT wards in bed shortage

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