Young people and health

The BBC and online journal Community Care have used Freedom of Information requests to find out about under 18s with mental health problems in England who are being treated on adult psychiatric wards.

The requests found that:

  • 350 under 18s have been admitted so far to adult mental health wards in 2013-14, compared with 242 in 2012-13;
  • 12 under 16s have been admitted so far in 2013-14, compared with three in 2011-12; and
  • Of 18 NHS trusts that provided out-of-area placement data, 10 had sent children more than 150 miles away for care.

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The Health and Social Care Information Centre has published figures on hospital admissions for stress, which show that the overall number of admissions for stress fell by almost 14 percent in the year to November 2013, but the number of admissions of girls aged 15 to 19 remained almost static, dropping by one to 295.

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The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has found that children and young people are being held in police cells after being detained under the Mental Health Act.

The CQC’s annual report into the use of the Act finds that:

  • Children as young as 11 have been held in police cells after being detained under the Mental Health Act;
  • Police cells were being used as the default place of safety for holding children and young people; and
  • Since 2010 hospitals are required to ensure that children and young people treated under the Mental Health Act are held in age-appropriate facilities and that these are not connected to adult wards.

To download the report visit

The Government has published Closing the Gap, 25 priorities for change in how children, young people and adults with mental health problems are supported and cared for.

The priorities include:

  • Improved access to psychological therapies for children and young people across the whole of England;
  • The Friends and Family Test will be used to allow all patients to comment on their experience of mental health services, including children’s mental health services;
  • Improvements to the way frontline health services respond to self-harm;
  • Better support to new mothers to minimise the risks and impacts of postnatal depression;
  • Schools will be supported to identify mental health problems sooner; and
  • The cliff-edge of lost support as children and young people with mental health needs reach the age of 18 will be ended.

To download the report visit

The Health and Social Care Information Centre has published Monthly Hospital Episode Statistics, including a detailed look at eating disorders, which shows that in the period between November 2012 to October 2013:

  • There were a total of 2,561 finished admission episodes (FAEs) with a primary diagnosis of an eating disorder, an 8 percent increase from 2,371 for the previous 12 months;
  • Roughly 70 percent of the FAEs were for 10-24 year-olds
  • 2,319 (91 percent) of the FAEs were female and 242 (9 percent) were male, the same proportion as the previous 12 months; and
  • The most common age for FAEs was 15 was females and 13 for males.

To download the detailed look at eating disorders visit

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence has issued standards to improve the quality of care and support for children, young people and adults with anxiety disorders.

The condition in children and young people is associated with an increased risk of other serious mental health problems, including depression and substance misuse.

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The Royal College of Nursing has published Getting it right for young people, in conjunction with the Royal College of General Practitioners, which provides guidance on how to make health services more teenage friendly in order to encourage teenagers to seek advice on health issues including sexual health, skin and musculo-skeletal problems, weight difficulties, bullying, self harm, suicidal feelings, smoking, alcohol and drugs issues.

To download the publication visit

Produced by the Child Maternal Health Intelligence Network, the Children and Young People’s Health Benchmarking Tool brings together and builds on health outcomes data from the Public Health Outcomes Framework and the NHS Outcomes Framework.

The resource responds to the Children and Young People's Health Outcomes Forum's recommendation that a view of these frameworks should be created highlighting areas of particular relevance to improving the health outcomes of children and young people.

To access the tool visit