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Children are still being treated on adult psychiatric wards, says report

1st Oct 2008 | in Child Mental Health

Hundreds of mentally ill children and teenagers are being treated on adult psychiatric wards in defiance of a government promise to halt the practice.
A report that lifts the lid on the desperate state of mental health services for young people says that only 15 per cent of health trusts have complied with the Government’s commitment that all young people would be treated in special units, not with adults, by this November.
The findings come from the charity Young Minds and the Children’s Commissioner, Sir Al Aynsley-Green. He has, for the first time, used his powers to force primary care trusts (PCTs) to disclose what is going on in clinics and psychiatric hospitals.
The report, entitled Out of the Shadows?, says that mental health services for children and teenagers are so stretched that 72 per cent of inpatient referrals are turned away, forcing young people to travel hundreds of miles from their home or, more commonly, to be sent to adult wards.
No national figures on admissions are collected by the NHS but research by the Royal College of Psychiatrists suggests that about a third of the 3,000 or so children and teenagers admitted for inpatient psychiatric treatment each year end up on adult wards.
PCTs were told more than 18 months ago that this must stop. It will become illegal in 2010 for all but the most dire emergencies under the new Mental Health Act.
The Children’s Commissioner has singled out some basic standards that adult wards must meet when young people have to be treated there. These are based on government guidelines and the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.
The standards are to ensure that young people feel safe from other patients, know why they are there, what drugs and other treatment they will receive, can maintain contact with their peers and continue with their education.
However, the report says that about half of all PCTs make no special provisions when children are admitted to adult wards. Fewer than one in four trusts allocates young people a key worker with any training in children’s mental health. The report says that is a serious concern.
Lesr than half comply with guidance that young people must be given information on what medication they receive, for how long they will have it and possible side-effects.
Only a third have facilities for education and only a quarter offer any daily activities for young people. This has been identified as a particular problem as it is very harmful to leave children and young people “watching the wall” for hours on end.
Independent advocacy, particularly important to young people who are sectioned under the Mental Health Act, is available in 75 per cent of wards and clinics but only 20 per cent advise patients of the service and only a handful have an advocate who has expertise with children.
Professor Aynsley-Green said that while some of the findings were encouraging, some trusts clearly did not believe that young people’s mental health was a priority.
Lois Ward, 20, a representative from Young Minds, who helped to compile the report, said: “The young people entering mental health services have their lives ahead of them and it is essential that the environments in which they are placed are safe, supportive and serve to boost their potential in the future.”


  • On 1st Oct 2008 at 12:59 PM Teresa said...

    I posted a comment on the Times but like other papers they pick and choose what they want the public to read because they will not allow me to comment. Typical and shows the media prevent the public knowing the full scale of whats going on, has gone on and why it is unlikely to change.

  • On 23rd Dec 2008 at 12:07 PM J2R2R said...

    I was a gifted child and started having temporal lobe epilepsy in 1973. Up until 1993 I lived in the Bridgend area of South Wales and the public sector services were awful.

    One day in March 1973 about a month after I started having epilepsy my mother and I were in the local authority offices in Minerva Street, Bridgend trying to get something sorted out so that I could continue to develop my potential and get the care I needed for the epilepsy, but instead of catering for my needs they treated me like dirt and made me out to be a troublemaker because of my strengths and determination to progress.

    Gifted children have ‘emotional intensity’ which has a high correlation with intelligence, the higher their intelligence the more intensely emotional they become, so this combined with temporal lobe epilepsy where my temper was affected I was quick to react.

    While my mother was busy seeing an officer I was waiting in the corridor and a woman came out of a room, picked on me because I wasn’t seated and tried to make out I was up to doing wrong. She raised her voice trying to intimidate me, bullying me and all I was doing was looking at the poster on the wall as I was fed up of waiting about.

    This element of blame and emotional abuse which she inflicted on me pushed me one stage too far and caused me to go berserk. I started tearing off my clothes, pushing objects out of the way and was ready to attack anyone who tried to get in my way. I was rushed into admission into Pen-y-fai adults’ psychiatric hospital which was about 1.5 miles outside Bridgend, sedated with Valium and locked in a cell. I was in this hospital for about five months regularly needing sedation and locking up in a cell.

    The trouble is, I was only twelve years of age when this happened.

    Ever since this event in March 1973 I have been a highly emotional and disruptive person whenever picked on by people in authority abusing their power or status. Peaceful protests never got me anywhere so I had to resort to violence and disorder to get myself heard and it was the only way I could defend myself. I have made many threats to kill myself when being held against my will by public sector workers and anyone trying to hold me to ransom.

    Had I sat back and let the public sector in the Bridgend area control my life it would have been ruined, and since moving to the North West I underwent brain surgery (in 1996), managed to rebuild my life and am now in a professional job. So the disruptive streak which made me too much for people to control was a godsend since it saved me from letting control freaks in authority controlling me. When treated properly I have been described as “a most co-operative person who will go out of his way to help others less fortunate than himself”, so I do think of others but will go to great lengths to defend myself.

    I help the vulnerable and disabled (CRB enhanced clearance) as well as help out with teaching maths in disadvantaged areas as I enjoy stretching the mind and thinking beyond the obvious. Giving some ideas to children from deprived areas can be rewarding since some have understood something they never thought of before and it has helped them with problem solving.

    It was my problem solving way of thinking which helped me see a way forward with light at the end of the tunnel which gave me the drive to fight my way forward, and I have proven myself correct – which is much more than what the officials in the Bridgend and surrounding areas would accept me as capable of achieving. I have risen above some of them now.

    Those in authority did and still do what cowards on The Weakest Link do – make the strongest look weakest by voting the strongest as the weakest, so those in authority tried to bully me because I was more capable than them. How many of them could understand some maths worthy of A-level standard in junior school without any private tuition or mentoring?

  • On 23rd Dec 2008 at 07:25 PM Teresa said...


    That is an amazing story of strength and courage and it is an honour to have you post on no2abuse

    I used to try and stand up for myself when I was at Kendall House and whilst it got me in trouble because they hated anyone going against their extreme methods it made me stronger even if it didnt feel like it at the time. Had I of given in to them I am afraid to say I more than likely would of ended up one of those who sadly didnt make it through. The staff saw it as defiance and disruption but it was about me, who i was as a person and saying no to what was abuse.

    It will one day haunt them Im sure because girls commited suicide because of them and what they done to us. Loads of girls have been seriously damaged because of them. They drove all the girls to the point of no return with abuse. They showed no compassion and no care when they treated the girls so badly and the head of Kendall House and the mental psychiatrist Dr Perinpanayagam went out of their way to employ staff as informants who would pretend to be the girls friends and then they would report back to Miss Law and Dr Perinpanayagam and betray the girls trust. I know that because a couple of them (staff) have come forward and they too were abused at KH. Not all the staff agreed with what went on at Kendall House and I know it left some of the staff in a state of mind when they left.

    I personally think the government should install cctv in mental hospitals and secure units to protect the vunerable and get an independent organisation set up that acts as an advocate for the vunerable in hospitals and secure units and also the org will have to be told by social services and others who they have put into these institututions so the org can be very involved in keeping the vunerable safe.

    Id like to see psychiatrists brought to task for fake illnesses they brand people with to make money and misuse their power on. I am fed up with psychiatrists making up rubish in order to justify their bad decisions, make money and to manipulate their positions with the vunerable.

    Things have got to change and the mental health industry needs to stop making things up especially in peoples files to make the vunerable look bad

    Psychaitrists also have to stop the crap on the what if, might, maybe, possibly and all the utter nonsense because if buts and maybes are not a diagnoses, its just a load of rubish thats there to justify the money they make from the vunerable and to justify their bad decisions

    Your life story proves again that survivors of these situations can make a HUGE difference and these experiences we have been through could help many others out there

    The government needs to listen

  • On 24th Dec 2008 at 09:48 AM J2R2R said...


    Thank you for replying to my comment.

    From what you have said it shows there is a minority of some evil-minded control freaks within all walks of the public sector – including doctors/psychiatrists who want to impress with their false diagnosis to look good while destroying the lives of innocent people who are a little bit different, using the difference as an excuse to demonise them.

    This is what many MPs and ministers try. Look at what Tony Blair did with the weapons of mass destruction as an excuse to get his own way so that he could look like an important figurehead ruining the lives of many. Also, take Harriet Harman who is trying to demonise men since she has a grudge against men. Got to for more details.

    I have conducted tests on people in authority I didn’t trust (including teachers) from when I was as young as five in infants school by introducing other variables to the equation of events and seeing how control freaks responded according to how much I changed the variables. I often acted a fool to see if they would be opportunistic to exploit me thinking I wasn’t aware of something while I was, and they fell for it which revealed their deceptive ways. It is amazing how vulnerable control freaks can be when they see an opportunity for big gains they believe they can get away with which is too much for them to resist.

    I believe that anyone who abuses their position of authority for self gain or enforces constraints on someone else which are totally unjust is obsessed with their own personal weaknesses on the inner-self which is why they like to impress on the outside to cover these weaknesses up. They have something of a weakness on the inner-self which they are stuck with since they were born this way and just won’t accept it so the only way to look stronger is to target and bring the vulnerable down to below their level, but it doesn’t just stop with the vulnerable because these are the easiest targets. They will use deceptive tactics to put the spanner in the works of others to cause problems again to hinder those who are stronger and these people who are obsessed by their own personal inferiorities envy people who have the ability to outperform them or shine out.

    You might be aware that in general the best don’t make it to the top but cheats, control freaks and the not-so-good do, especially those with status and wealth. This is because those with status and wealth who have inferiority problems on their inner-self know they cannot buy intelligence or capability and due to the envy and rage linked to this they have the desire to bring the best down by abusing their financial and status powers through the introduction of preferential treatment for the types they prefer and persecution of those they envy. It is a shame that with all their wealth they cannot buy themselves a gift from Mother Nature.

    They will often back the not-so-good with support and privileges, which is why we have so many public school retards that have been to Cambridge and Oxford who appear elite but they aren’t as intelligent as some from other walks of life – they have been puffed up and spoon fed with privileges which has helped get more out of them whereas other more capable people from poorer backgrounds have more unused talent waiting to be used. If they were denied all these privileges and had to use their own brains they would not be able to cope, so they live a life with everything on a plate.

    As someone with an analytical brain who was imprisoned from progressing at my natural rate I became aware that since I wasn’t a threat to society (dangerous or a criminal) I must be a threat to the deception associated with the public sector and they were trying to suppress the truth, so I put my brain power to other uses and did what I could to uncover the truth.

    Like you, as a survivor we need to be listened to, but as you can guess these retards in government don’t want to listen to us because they live a life of lies and deceit.

    I tried contacting Tony Blair when he was PM but never got an acknowledgement or reply, so I take it that my letters were a bit too much for his intelligence to comprehend, but going by his mentality which has surfaced in recent years he hasn’t got the bottle to face up to the truth and therefore ignored them.

    The truth really hurts those who lack integrity and abuse their powers of authority when it is revealed doesn’t it?

    We are both strong and let’s hope this will encourage others to speak out.

    Before I go, take a look at what is happening with an organisation called Common Purpose by typing “Common Purpose” including the quotes into Google to refine the search – include words such as corruption, deceit, lies or something similar to get to the articles quicker. You will see what could be going on behind the scenes even more.

    Let us know what you think so that others might be encouraged to join in and add their views.

  • On 4th Dec 2009 at 09:43 PM olive said...

    As a 14year old I was placed in an adult psychiatric hospital because I was diagnosed as suffering from anxiety. This was during the early 1980's in Ireland. It was a horrific experience that will remain me for life. I was a quiet shy child who was at school and to be placed on an adult ward was dreadful.

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