MENTAL health services for children and young people are in crisis, Labour warned yesterday as a new report exposed a shortage of specialist inpatient beds.
An Education Policy Institute (EPI) study revealed that on two dates in April 2016 there were no inpatient beds for child and adolescent mental health services (Camhs) in the NHS South region and on June 1 2016 there were no Camhs beds in London.
The report reveals “capacity issues” over the past year with young people treated on adult wards or hospitals far away from home.
Between October and December 2016 there were 83 under-18s treated on adult wards, and they spent a total of 2,700 days in adult hospitals.
One child on an adult ward witnessed a fellow patient take their own life, while another was was assaulted by an adult patient.
Meanwhile, the report states there were 331 hospital stays for children which were 30 or more miles from their home in March 2017.
It also revealed that children and young people have been kept in hospital for longer than necessary with staff shortages and a lack of community support services.
Labour mental health spokeswoman Barbara Keeley said the report shows the Tories have pushed Camhs into crisis.
She said: “It is especially worrying that on three separate occasions in 2016 there were no beds available at all for child and adolescent mental health services.
“This meant young people had to be treated either on adult mental health wards or miles from home, away from their families and support networks.”
Ms Keeley promised Labour would invest more in Camhs.