HIW review of healthcare services for young people raises concerns about CAMHS inpatient units

Healthcare Inspectorate Wales (HIW) has published its thematic report: ‘How are healthcare services meeting the needs of young people?’, in which it has made 37 recommendations for improvement.

The review found that overall, young people had predominately good experiences of care within services. HIW also found staff working hard to provide compassionate, dignified and person-centred care. However, HIW are concerned about the ability of CAMHS inpatient units in Wales to accommodate people who are high risk. This means that young people are not always able to receive timely care close to where they live and are having to be placed out-of-area.

The report also finds that many of the challenges young people face when moving between child and adult services are well known but still continue to be seen. HIW is calling for more work by health boards and Welsh Government to ensure young people across Wales have smooth and effective transition to support them into adulthood.

Key findings regarding CAMHS include:

  • Staff are working hard to provide compassionate, dignified and person-centred care, with evidence of positive multi-disciplinary team working
  • HIW could not always be assured patients were receiving safe and effective care because they found weaknesses around systems for ensuring safe care, including systems for locating emergency equipment
  • HIW has concerns across Wales over the ability of CAMHS units to accommodate young people who are high risk, due to challenges with staffing, environment and effective management and leadership. They are concerned that this means some young people need to be placed out-of-area.

Download the report