Shocking Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (Camhs) deaths figures recently exposed
The BBC has reported that: “deaths, staff shortages and a culture of life-threatening self-harm are exposing deep fears about the quality of mental health care in hospitals for children and young people”.
Visit www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-62294650 for full details.
Apparently, according to the figures that from 2019 to date, 20 patients or more aged 18 or under have died in NHS or privately-run units. Another 26 patients have died following discharge into the community as a result of an apparent lack of continuing support.
The NHS said it had “invested record amounts” in response to record demand.
Camhs states they have around 4,000 patients in their units, with many different diagnoses each year. The intention is to help them recover during the weeks or months they are in the units before being discharged into the community. According to Camhs, some patients are in and out of the units over a period of years
The BBC has uncovered information, following data requests, which show that since 2019 18 deaths occurred in Camhs units in England, 14 patients died as a result of self-harm in NHS wards, and four patients died in privately run facilities.
This is a massive increase of those deaths previously recorded between 2010 and 2014.
The article refers to serious claims of harm and unsafe discharge, along with parents describing themselves as having to suicide watch their children.
Amanda Cavanagh, Associate in the Medical Negligence team at Ashtons Legal, comments: “Sadly, this shocking data is just the tip of the iceberg. All Trusts in England are struggling to provide safe places for teenagers and young adults to go to receive the help and treatment they need. Families are struggling to keep their children safe, and these figures are, in my estimation, a lot lower than they actually are. The frustration and fear felt by these young people and their families is indescribable. I agree the pandemic has had a massive effect on those struggling with their mental health, but this has exacerbated an already failing system. We need investment in staff and safe places for these young people to go otherwise, the tragic losses will continue to rise”.
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