Teenagers kept in temporary mental health units for more than a year, despite six week guideline

Teenagers kept in temporary mental health units for more than a year, despite six week guideline

More than half of young people admitted to short stay mental health units are being kept there for longer than the recommended maximum stay of six weeks, it has been revealed. 

Young people being admitted to psychiatric intensive care units (PICUs) are staying longer that the recommended six week period, an issue which campaigners say is as a result of bed blocking and a lack of community care. 

The units are supposed to be used to treat people at crisis point before discharging patients to a different unit, however new figures show 53 per cent of young people are staying longer than the recommended time frame.

In figures obtained by Sky News young people staying in PICUs for longer than six weeks last year was 48 per cent on NHS units and 57 per cent on private ones. 

It was also found that across NHS and private wards last year 29 per cent of young people were stuck for three months or longer, 10 per cent for six months or longer, and 11 children stayed on PICU wards for over a year.

Campaigners have said the reason for prolonged stays is that the units have nowhere to discharge young people to.

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