Inpatient provision for children and young people with mental health problems

The Education Policy Institute (EPI) has examined the state of child and adolescent mental health inpatient services in England. This analysis explores the latest evidence and NHS data on admissions, quality of care, staffing and capacity. The report finds that 12 percent of inpatient units in England failed to meet basic requirements for staff to patient ratios, with nearly a quarter struggling to employ enough permanent staff.

The analysis also highlights several challenges with the issue of the delayed discharge of patients – those that are waiting to leave mental health hospitals, yet are unable to do so due to lack of subsequent support in the community. Examining the provision of beds in England, it identifies wide regional disparities: the North East has the greatest provision, while the South West and Yorkshire and Humber regions fail to meet the recommended standard. In addition, the report shows that mental health services for young people on average failed to meet 7% of minimum standards – meaning this provision represents “a significant threat to young people’s safety, rights or dignity”.

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