Improving young people’s mental health care

The recent QualityWatch report on emergency hospital care for children and young people outlined how young people’s use of emergency care has changed over ten years | Quality Watch

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Overall there has been a 6% increase in hospital emergency admission rates across all children between 2006/7 and 2015/16. However it is important to note that the number of emergency admissions amongst 10-19 year olds actually dropped during the ten year period, indicating that the increase in emergency admissions by children are attributable to the under 10s. Whilst we need to better understand the increase in admissions for children there are also trends that need further exploration for young people. The most notable is that the older age group showed some increases in admissions associated with specific conditions such as abdominal pain and poisoning.

Strikingly, there was a 27% increase in re-admission to hospital within 30 days amongst children and young people admitted for poisoning by other medications and drugs, which is more prevalent in the 10-24 age group. These figures indicate that we may be failing to provide our young people with adequate mental health treatment prior to discharge and, more importantly, failing to provide ongoing support in the community.

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