Worry over children held on adult wards

Campaigners have called for the government to clarify figures that could suggest more than a fifth of child mental health in-patients are placed in adult wards.

Care services minister Liam Byrne told parliament that patients aged 16 or 17 occupied more than 10,000 bed days in adult wards from April to June, while under-16s accounted for a further 589.

YoungMinds professional adviser Bill Young said the figures did not make it clear whether a small number of children were in adult wards for a long period, or vice versa.

The figures compare to almost 39,000 bed days spent by under-18s in specialist child and adolescent wards. Byrne said that adult wards were inappropriate for the overwhelming majority of children.

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