Plans to reduce inappropriate admissions of children to adult mental health wards have been published by the Welsh Government.
The draft guidance details the pathways, processes and procedures the Welsh Government expects health boards to follow to ensure the safety of patients and to ensure the appropriate provision of support and treatment.
It states that admission of a young person to any inpatient unit should be a rare event. The draft guidance also states:
- Health boards should ensure services, such as intensive home treatment teams, are available to young people to further minimise the likelihood of inpatient admission;
- Health boards should ensure the seven-day availability of child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS) professional input to support partner services when care is provided outside CAMHS inpatient units;
- Services for young people in crisis or for those who need inpatient care must be available 24 hours a day. This will require good joint working with local adult mental health services and local authority social services;
- When a child or young person does need inpatient care for the treatment of a mental disorder, in the vast majority of cases, it will be expected that Welsh CAMHS inpatient units will be the most appropriate place of care.
Health and Social Services Minister Mark Drakeford said:
“The Welsh Government is clear that children who are admitted to hospital for treatment for a mental health condition should be accommodated in the most suitable environment, which takes account of their age and developmental needs.
“This draft guidance sets out our expectation that the admission of a young person to any inpatient unit should be a rare event.
“We have invested in CAMHS over a number of years to improve services for children and young people, including providing £42m for dedicated inpatient units in North and South Wales.
“I expect health boards to ensure services for children and young people are fit for purpose, that care f is integrated across services and that inpatient services consider the individual needs of children and young people and develop services to cater for these needs.”