Mental health care delays at Feltham

Mentally ill young people are waiting months to be transferred from Feltham young offender institution for treatment because of a lack of hospital beds.

John Foster, acting chief executive of Hounslow Primary Care Trust, which commissions health care services at Feltham, said about 10 people were caught in the backlog.

The target waiting limit is 12 weeks, but Foster said some young people with severe needs were unable to move on quickly because the number of hospital beds was limited.

He was speaking after the publication of a prison inspectorate report on Feltham, which found inmates were experiencing “significant problems” in accessing medium-secure forensic psychiatry beds.

Last week, former chief inspector of prisons Sir David Ramsbotham pointed to the need for a “proper strategy” to ensure that the NHS was responsible for prison health care.

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