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Video: BBC Look East on the CAMHS Bed Shortage

This is an excellent piece of journalism looking at the bed shortage for young people. The BBC visits an oversubscribed child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS) unit in Essex, The St Aubyn Centre, built by North Essex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust.

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!

Watch the video below. If you are an Apple user and have trouble viewing the embedded video you can view it directly on Youtube. Sorry, this issue is a sometime side effect of the on-going war between Google and Apple which is beyond our control.:

2 thoughts on “Video: BBC Look East on the CAMHS Bed Shortage

  1. Charlie13 says:

    Where can I see the report for the above statistics please?

  2. admin says:

    Not released to general public, but you can obtain report by submitting a FOI request to NHS Benchmarking.

    “The 2013 CAMHS benchmarking toolkit and report were released in December 2013. A total of 65 contributing organisations are included within the toolkit which contains data from across the full spectrum of CAMHS providers (Mental Health Trusts, Secondary Care Trusts, Children’s Trusts, and the Independent sector). Comparisons include data on service models, access, activity, workforce, finance, key performance indicators, quality and outcomes. Each of these areas can be explored for both tier 1-3 services, and also for tier 4. The report also includes a compendium of good practice provided by participant organisations.

    The CAMHS project will also continue in the 2014/15 work programme. If you have any questions about the CAMHS benchmarking project or toolkit please contact”

    The relevant newsletter is here:

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