New Models of Care for Children and Young People in crisis. 

Children and young people get the best quality of care when they are in their communities, supported by friends, families and local services. If a child or young person is becoming unwell and may need to be admitted, we will look for alternative support and treatment that would allow them to be safely managed at home, close to their family and friends.

When this is not possible and when it becomes absolutely necessary, a hospital bed is needed. In such cases, hospital is the safest place for the young person. This is not an error on the parent’s/family’s part, but a logical next step in keeping the young person safe.

In these cases, New Models of Care Project aims to place the young person as close to home as possible and for the shortest time possible. This is by making sure the right care is in place so that the young person can get back to their family as soon as they are well enough.


How will we do this?

Within a week of a young person being admitted to hospital they will have a clinical review and forward thinking (CRaFT) meeting. In this meeting we invite parents/ carers and all professionals important to the young person’s care.

The aim of a CRAFT meeting is to set clear goals about what the hospital admission should achieve and to start planning the care needed to get the young person home to family as soon as possible.

We believe this new partnership will help to improve the way we plan and deliver care to young people and their families.

Frequently Asked Questions:

How long will I be in hospital?

It can vary. It is never the aim to keep young people in for a long time; the aim is always to discharge the young person when they are able to cope in the community without the need for a hospital.

I heard I am going to a private hospital, who pays for my admission?

You and your family don’t have to pay for the hospital bed; it’s all paid for by the NHS. Travel costs to hospital are separate and are generally unpaid for.

 I’m being placed very far away from home, can I move closer?

If you’re being placed far away, it’s usually because there is no beds available close by and the risk is too high to wait for one to become available. However, depending on risk of behaviour and bed availability, they are always on a priority list to be placed in a hospital closer to home.

Can I refuse a bed?

If you are under 16, your parents need to give consent for a hospital admission. If you are over 16, you have more of a say.

How many people are on a ward?

It varies, but wards can hold between 10 – 20 beds.

What are CAMHS/Social Services/ School’s roles during the hospital admission?

They will be invited to CRAFT meetings and CPAs (see Jargon Buster), and their role is to be aware of your admission so that when it comes to discharge, they would be able to plan for looking after you in the community.

Description and rules of hospital

All hospitals will have restrictions on what you can and cannot have on the wards. Usually, the more ‘secure’ the ward, the less items you’re allowed as well as less unsupervised leave and easy access to facilities like bathrooms and kitchens (locked).

Your phone allowance will be also be different on the wards; the more secure the ward, the less likely you will have easy access to your phone. Some wards allow mobiles as long as the camera is disabled, or internet switched off. Others give you the ward phones which are topped up for calling and text only.

All hospitals have a communal area which is open to everyone and they should have a range of activities on offer. These activities are usually are in groups and although you are encouraged to attend at least one activity, it is up to you whether you want to go or not.

All hospitals also have a school system where you attend regular lessons; you can also have your homework from your usual school to be sent to you.

Hospitals also have visitation rules which you can ask about if they are not explained to you. But usually your friends and family are able to come to the ward or call the ward to speak to you.

Depending on the location of the hospital, there are usually shops and towns nearby. Hospitals within London are best for this whereas hospitals out of London are usually surrounded by countryside fields.

Nurses and healthcare assistants can be both female and male but if you request a specific gender for a specific reason, it will be considered.

Jargon Buster

CRAFT: Stands for Clinical Review and Forward Thinking Meeting. In this meeting there is the team on the hospital ward, family, the young person and any community professionals which are involved in the care; such as CAMHS or social care. This meeting is aimed to be held at hospital within a week of being admitted. It’s a chance for everyone, especially the young person, to explore why they were admitted, plan the goals to achieve in hospital and know what could possibly prevent discharge. This is so the young person knows what’s going on, and that both community and the hospital teams are in communication.

PICU:  Psychiatric Intensive Care Unit. This type of ward has high levels of observation and restrictions. For example, very limited use of phone and internet, locked rooms and bathrooms.

Mental Health Act: This is a law that explains how people who are showing mental health distress should be cared for and what treatment they should have.

Section:  This is when you are placed under the Mental Health Act and therefore your consent is not needed to make decisions about your treatment. This is only when you are not showing any capacity to make the best choice for yourself.

Safeguarding: This is a way of working to protect children, adolescents, adults and older adults from harm and abuse.

CPA: Care Plan Approach. A meeting held at hospital for every 4-6 weeks and is a review of your progress whilst you’re at hospital. Your treatment plan could change or stay the same after these meetings. The CPA includes members of the hospital, alongside family and other healthcare and education professionals (CAMHS, Social care, school etc) who are involved in the care and treatment of the young person.

Ward Round: Weekly meetings held on the hospital ward to discuss the weekly progress of all patients on the ward.

Constant Observation: You will be either within eyesight or at arm’s length of staff at all times e.g. 1:1.

Intermittent Observation: You will be checked on at variable times within the hour.

General Observation: This is typically for individuals who are very close to discharge and require minimal observations.

Messages from ex-patients

It not as bad as people make it out to be (it’s not a mental asylum from the old days)’

‘Sending your child to hospital does not make you a bad parent’

‘You are entitled to ask questions about who is in charge of your care, your meeting dates and reports and to be involved/notified of any changes in your care (medication, home leave)’

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