Fewer under-18s with mental health issues admitted to non-specialist wards in Scotland

The Herald reports that the number of young people with mental health problems in Scotland being treated in non-specialised wards has fallen by more than 40%, according to a report by the Mental Welfare Commission. The report says the fall in numbers can be attributed to stability in staffing levels and increased bed capacity in Scotland’s thee specialist inpatient units. There has also been an expansion of community-based treatment by Children and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS).

However, the commission says hospital managers of regional adolescent units should continue reviewing admissions procedures to for out-of-hours and weekend referrals to explore whether access can be improved. 

Dr Gary Morrison, Executive Director (Medical) at the Mental Welfare Commission, said: "Children and young people under the age of 18 who need hospital treatment for mental illness should, wherever possible, be treated in a specialist unit, designed to care for their age group.

We have raised concerns in the past when we saw the numbers going to non-specialist, usually adult wards, rising, and last year we were glad to see a reversal of that trend. We know that services have been working hard across the country to achieve this change and we welcome it.”

The full story can be read on The Herald website