Paediatric wards in acute hospitals are increasingly caring for children and young people (CYP) who have mental health needs. Paediatric wards are primarily designed to accommodate children with physical health needs and are not specifically designed to help keep children and young people with mental health needs safe.
This national investigation looks at the risk factors associated with the design of paediatric wards in acute hospitals for children and young people with mental health needs.
The reference event involves a young person who presented at the emergency department expressing suicidal thoughts. The young person was admitted to a paediatric ward in the acute hospital whilst awaiting a mental health act assessment. The young person was then detained under section 2 of the Mental Health Act for self-harm.
The young person absconded (fled) from the paediatric ward on several occasions. On two occasions they took paracetamol tablets during their absence. Each time the young person absconded they were located by the police and brought back to the paediatric ward. On the ward, the young person’s behaviour escalated, which included attempts to self-harm and to harm hospital staff.
The young person was treated for the paracetamol overdose in intensive care but made further attempts to abscond when they returned to the paediatric ward. After a stay of ten days, the young person was transferred to an alternative facility for children with mental health needs whilst waiting for a children and young people’s mental health inpatient bed.
The national investigation will:
- Understand the paediatric ward design factors that impact on the safety of children and young people with mental health needs in acute NHS hospitals.
- Identify opportunities to improve the design of paediatric wards in acute hospitals to help support children and young people with mental health needs and those caring for them.
- Explore the management of risk associated with paediatric ward design in acute hospitals and the local adaptations made.
There are no comments to display.
Create an account or sign in to comment
You need to be a member in order to leave a comment
Create an account
Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!Register a new account
Already have an account? Sign in here.Sign In Now