More children are being treated on adult psychiatric wards, investigation shows

BMJ 2014; 348 doi: (Published 24 February 2014) Cite this as: BMJ 2014;348:g1725
  1. Matthew Limb
  1. 1London

New figures have shown a marked rise in the number of children with acute mental health problems who are admitted to adult psychiatric wards.

Figures published by the BBC and the online journal Community Care also showed that many children were sent hundreds of miles for hospital care because of a shortage of beds at young people’s mental health units.

Peter Hindley, who chairs the Royal College of Psychiatrists’ Faculty of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, said that admission to adult wards could be a “frightening” experience for young people who were already in a distressed state.

He said that the rising trend indicated “overwhelming” pressures on …

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