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An acute in-patient psychiatric service for 16- to 17-year-old adolescents in the UK: a descriptive evaluation

  • Venu Duddu (a1), Abdulhakim Rhouma (a1), Masood Qureshi (a1), Imran Bashir Chaudhry (a1) (a2), Terry Drake (a1), Altaf Sumra (a1) and Nusrat Husain (a1) (a2)...
Abstract
Aims and method

The need for an age-appropriate in-patient service for 16- to 17-year-olds led to the development of a 6-bed acute admissions unit in a non-metropolitan county in the UK. We provide a descriptive evaluation of the first 2 years of its operation. All admissions from April 2010 to March 2012 were reviewed, clinical details systematically recorded and descriptively analysed.

Results

Ninety-seven young people were admitted during this period (a third were compulsorily detained under the Mental Health Act 1983). The average length of stay was 3–4 weeks. The most common presenting complaints were self-harm and low mood, usually in the context of life events and childhood adversity. Nearly half had substance misuse and other risk-taking behaviours. A third presented with psychotic symptoms. Adjustment and anxiety disorders were most common, followed by alcohol/substance use disorders, depressive illnesses and psychotic illnesses. Comorbidity was the rule rather than the exception. Most patients improved by the time of discharge.

Clinical implications

The unit provides an accessible and effective age-appropriate service and is likely to constitute an important component of the comprehensive child and adolescent mental health service strategy in the county.

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Copyright
This is an open-access article published by the Royal College of Psychiatrists and distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Corresponding author
Correspondence to Abdulhakim Rhouma (hakim70@doctors.org.uk)
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Declaration of interest

None.

Footnotes
References
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1 Department of Health. National Service Framework for Children, Young People and Maternity Services. Department of Health, 2004.
2 O'Herlihy, A, Worrall, A, Lelliot, P, Jaffa, T, Hill, P, Banerjee, S. Distribution and characteristics of in-patient child and adolescent mental health services in England and Wales. Br J Psychiatry 2003; 183: 547–51.
3 Cotgrove, A, McLoughlin, R, O'Herlihy, A, Lelliott, P. The ability of adolescent psychiatric units to accept emergency admissions: changes in England and Wales between 2000 and 2005. Psychiatr Bull 2007; 31: 457–9.
4 Worrall, A, O'Herlihy, A, Banerjee, S, Jaffa, T, Lelliott, P, Hill, P, et al. Inappropriate admission of young people with mental disorder to adult psychiatric wards and paediatric wards: cross sectional study of six months' activity. BMJ 2004; 328: 867.
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9 Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust. Procedure for the Referral and Transition of Young People with Mental Health Problems into Lancashire Adult Mental Health Services. Blackburn with Darwen NHS Teaching Care Trust Plus, 2010 (http://panlancashirescb.proceduresonline.com/pdfs/mental_health_trans_lancs.pdf).
10 Guy, W. ECDEU Assessment Manual for Psychopharmacology. US Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, 1976.
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BJPsych Bulletin
  • ISSN: 2056-4694
  • EISSN: 2056-4708
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An acute in-patient psychiatric service for 16- to 17-year-old adolescents in the UK: a descriptive evaluation

  • Venu Duddu (a1), Abdulhakim Rhouma (a1), Masood Qureshi (a1), Imran Bashir Chaudhry (a1) (a2), Terry Drake (a1), Altaf Sumra (a1) and Nusrat Husain (a1) (a2)...
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