Staff shortages hit mental health inpatient units

Inpatient units for children and adolescents with mental health
problems continue to face recruitment problems, particularly with
nursing staff, a new study reveals, writes Katie

The report from mental health charity YoungMinds said that staff
shortages can have a negative impact on services, with staff having
less time to spend with young people, and units being restricted in
the range of activities and treatments they can offer.

It suggests the recruitment difficulties are made worse by the
perceived stress of working in inpatient units, and the lack of
professional development opportunities.

The report recommends that traditional approaches to staffing
“need to be rethought”, and proposes that other professionals such
as youth workers are used to allow units to provide appropriate
daily activities.

The report identifies ongoing problems with the availability of
CAMHS beds and gaps in provision, as well as restricted physical
space and poor layout in some units. It recommends an increase
nationally in the number of inpatient beds as well as a particular
focus on the availability of age appropriate inpatient services for

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