The British Medical Assassination FOIA notices revealed 69% of child and adolescent admissions to mental hospitals in 2016/17 were classed as ‘out of area’
7 out of 10 children are sent away miles from parents, family, school and friends
The highest rise was in south-west England with a 106% increase in inpatients treated out of area, the second being a rise of 92% was in Yorkshire and Humber.
And this is years after a government pledge to end all such placements by 2021.
But instead, the definition of ‘out of area’ appears to have changed to allow NHS England to claim children sent up to 200 miles from home are “in area”.
So children sent from Cornwall to Gloucestershire are not now ‘out of area.’
This new method of calculating out of area placements, only came to light after the BMA’s FOIA requests last year.
After NHS England stated, it had “toughened up” its stance on out of area placements.
So the huge costs of transport, the devastating affect of being isolated with strangers, and breach of childrens and families human rights to a family life, is getting worse, not better.
In 2014 NHS England stated the definition of ‘out of area’ was
“where young people are harmed by the distance and disconnection from local services, family and friends”.
Which appears from a Parliamentary Answer last month to have now been reinstated
But the definition of ‘out of area’, actually used from 2015, was any postcode outside
“the footprint of the specialised commissioning hub covering where the patient resides”
And, as each of these 10 hubs, covered many counties, patients could be counted as being treated ‘in area’, even if placed up to 200 miles from their home and families.
Another important matter is the childrens continuity of treatment by their GPs , raised by The General Practitioner’s Council’s deputy chair Dr Richard Vautrey :
‘These are children who will be looked after solely in specialist centres, so GPs won’t be involved directly with their care during their admission. However they will often be aware of the patient and are also likely to be supporting other members of the family who are often impacted by the distress caused by this situation.
“Patients and their families who are forced to travel for hours and hours to hospital will not have their beds counted as out-of-area. This is a very real harm that is not being accounted for,”
remarked Dr ”BuGary Wannan, BMA consultants committee deputy chair and child and adolescent psychiatrist and added;.
Health and Social Care Trusts’ treatment is increasingly inpatient, and, for profit, as mental services are increasingly privatised.
More and more distressed children, find themselves whisked far away from family, friends and school.
This in itself would be enough to cause a mental issues, let alone exacerbate distress, manifesting itself as an anxiety disorder , anorexia, depression or attempted/threatened suicide.
And what treatment do they receive ?
Medication and containment.
Below are just a few examples of such ‘treatment’ that managed to reach the media.
Amy at 14 in the Priory
George Werb at 15 in the Priory
Jodie at 15 in Cygnet
Will and Mathew 12 and 15 Cygnet , St Andrews
More than half of parents with children in mental hospitals do not feel their child’s mental health improved while in care and a quarter (24%) thought it had “deteriorated”.
448 parents who had had children in Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services Tier 4 (inpatient ) hospitals over the last five years, were surveyed by Young Minds and the National Autistic Society .
In some cases, young people were trapped in inappropriate care for years, with their mental health deteriorating, while their parents desperately tried to find a way to get them out.
The survey revealed 44% of parents felt unable to challenge decisions about their child’s treatment and 52% didn’t know what rights their child has while in hospital.
A third (33%) said they were not consulted about decisions about medication,
And 40% were uncomfortable with decisions made about medication.
Fewer than a third (29%) of parents felt sufficiently involved in their child’s care and 53% were not confident that their child was receiving appropriate care.
More than a third (39%) said their child had not been supported to have a suitable education.
Despite the law providing in s131a MHA ,
.That equal access to educational opportunities as their peers’
How will these children ever catch up with their education, gain qualifications, jobs and a social life ?
And all this ‘treatment’ costs the NHS £13,000 a week on a secure ward, with a minimum average of £900 a day.
As ‘mental’ health moves into schools, and we are told a fifth of our children have a ‘diagnosable disorder’.
Within a mendacious system that gerrymanders ‘out of area placements’ to, at worst , place vulnerable children wherever commercially convenient, or at best, treats them without having the correct infrastructure in place.
Allowing children to linger for years, hundreds of miles away from their families regardless of the damage caused.
We must consider the outcomes of such ‘treatment’ and the huge amount of money spent on it.
And ask why ?