Publication date: 2 Nov, 2023
The figures show there were 79 admissions involving 66 young people in 2022-23 compared to 90 admissions involving 88 young people the previous year.
Just over half of admissions of young people to non-specialist wards were for a week or less, however 49% of young people remained on those wards for over a week and 15% remained for over five weeks.
Seventy four percent of admissions of young people to non-specialist wards were for females – the biggest difference in admissions between the two genders since 2013-14.
A positive finding was that the proportion of specialist medical staff either supporting, or available to support, these admissions was high – 63% of the doctors in charge of care or the responsible medical officers (RMO) were child specialists and in a further 33% of admissions, a child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS) consultant was available to give support, if needed.
Dr Arun Chopra, medical director, Mental Welfare Commission, said:
“We welcome the fall in numbers of young people under the age of 18 being admitted into non-specialist, mostly adult, wards. Numbers are significantly lower than a decade ago and it is good to see this downward trend.
“Sometimes it can be appropriate for a young person to be admitted to a non-specialist ward, but this should only happen in rare situations. For the vast majority of young people, being cared for in a unit designed for their age group, not for adults, should be the norm.
“There are no specialist inpatient facilities in Scotland for children and young people with mental ill health and a learning disability, or for those who are very ill and need intensive psychiatric care but progress is being made with regards to these areas, which we welcome.”