Previous Section Back to Table of Contents Lords Hansard Home Page

15 July 2009 : Column WS90

Mental Health: Children and Young People


The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Health (Lord Darzi of Denham): My honourable friend the Minster of State, Department of Health (Phil Hope) has made the following Written Ministerial Statement.

The Government have made two commitments in recent years on the treatment of children and young people aged under 18 years of age on adult psychiatric wards. I wish to report to the House on the progress made on these commitments.

The first commitment, made in November 2006, was that within two years no child under the age of 16 would be treated on an adult psychiatric ward.

The second commitment is to commence Section 31(3) of the Mental Health Act 2007 in England by April 2010. This provision, which applies to voluntary (informal) patients as well as formal (detained under mental health legislation) patients, places a duty on hospital managers to ensure that patients aged under 18 are treated in an environment in hospital which is suitable having regard to their age (subject to their needs). The hospital manager has to consult with a person who appears to them to have knowledge or experience of cases involving patients who have not attained the age of 18.

In its twelfth biennial report the Mental Health Act Commission welcomed these commitments and commented that "the ending of admissions of children and adolescents to unsuitable adult facilities is an ambitious undertaking".

In order to prepare for these two commitments £31 million capital was made available in 2007-08 to 17 projects specifically designed to eliminate the inappropriate use of adult psychiatric wards by children and young people. I can report that five projects have been completed with further projects, which will provide 31 new beds, 35 refurbished beds, and 13 beds relocated to purpose-designed facilities, in various states of completion.

In addition the department commissioned the National Mental Health Development Unit (NMHDU) to work on children and young people's issues within the Mental Health Act 2007 Implementation Programme. One of the main objectives of this work has been to support local areas to prepare for Section 31(3) of the Mental Health Act 2007.

A number of products have been produced including:

The Legal Aspects of the Care and Treatment of Children and Young People with Mental Disorder : A Guide for Professionals

A guide which describes the interaction between mental health legislation, the Mental Capacity Act, and children's legislation and which, for example, will assist Adult Mental Health Services clinicians to understand the issues they should take into account when working with under-18s.

The Safe and Appropriate Care Standards for Young People on Adult Wards

Standards prepared by the Royal College of Psychiatrists Research and Training Unit, in conjunction with young service users, parents, Adult and Child

15 July 2009 : Column WS91

and Adolescent Service providers and commissioners, which provides guidance to trusts on how to assess the safety, environment and treatment offered to young people on adult wards.

In Our Words DVD

A training aid which includes contributions from young people, their parents, mental health advocates and health professionals on the treatment of young people with mental health problems.

Working Together to Provide Age Appropriate Environments for Mental Health Patients Aged under 18

Briefing to support adult mental health services (AMHS) and child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS) commissioners to work together to develop more effective services to maintain young people in the community when it is safe to do so, and appropriate inpatient resources to meet their needs in a crisis or for medium to long term treatment.

The Age Appropriate Environment System Dynamic Planning Tool

A model aimed at CAMHS and AMHS commissioners, providers, planners and analysts to enable them to devise and test plans to improve services to meet the needs of under-18s with severe mental health problems is available to download for free.

The Mental Health Act-essential information for Parents and Carers

NMHDU commissioned a leaflet for parents and carers from Rethink which has been distributed to CAMHS and AMHS and which is available to download for free.

Headspace Toolkit

The widely praised Advocacy in Somerset self advocacy toolkit has been updated, distributed to all CAMHS inpatient services and is available to download for free.

Additionally a series of training workshops aimed at CAMHS staff have been provided across England.

Year-on-year figures of bed days for under-18s show that consistent progress is being made. The number of bed days for under-16s and 16 to 17 year-olds on adult psychiatric wards has significantly reduced. In 2006-07, 12.2 per cent of bed days for under-18s were on adult psychiatric wards whereas the figure for 2008-09 was 8.1 per cent. I would like to congratulate strategic health authorities, commissioners, and providers on the progress made.

The bed day figures for under-16s on adult psychiatric wards dropped to zero in Q3 2008-09, meeting the Government's commitment. However, the latest quarterly figures (January-March 2009) for bed days for under-18 year-olds receiving mental health treatment in England show three instances of under-16 year-olds having been treated on adult psychiatric wards, each for one day only.

It is not acceptable for young people to be put in this situation and those few areas where these latest cases have arisen must take action to prevent this happening again. In all these cases action has been taken to investigate the circumstances leading to an under-16 year-old being placed on an adult psychiatric ward and to press those responsible to put arrangements in place to ensure that in future similar situations are

15 July 2009 : Column WS92

dealt with in line with the Government's commitment. The appropriate place for vulnerable young children is in an environment which is designed for children and young people. In the case of under-16s our view is that the appropriate place is a CAMHS ward.

To conclude, over the past five years the Government have been committed to improving access for children and young people with mental health problems in universal and specialist settings. What these incidents highlight are the need for continued efforts to improve access to emergency and specialist age appropriate inpatient services for under-18s which are close to young people's homes, and services to maintain young people in the community when it is safe to do so, following the example in adult services of outreach and crisis teams. The Government remain committed to developing mental health services further.

Bed days for under 18 year olds receiving mental health treatment in England within the NHS
QuarterUnder 18 year old on NHS CAMHS ward16-17 year old on NHS Adult Psychiatric WardUnder 16 year old on NHS Adult Psychiatric Ward




















































Office of the Public Guardian


The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Justice (Lord Bach): My honourable friend the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State (Bridget Prentice) has made the following Written Ministerial Statement.

The Office of the Public Guardian's annual report and accounts for 2008-09 has been laid before Parliament today. This document gives full details of the agency's performance and expenditure for the 12 months from 1 April 2008, and includes the Public Guardian's annual report to the Lord Chancellor about the discharge of his functions pursuant to Section 60 of the Mental Capacity Act 2005.

15 July 2009 : Column WS93

A revised version of the Public Guardian Framework Document has also been placed in the Libraries of both Houses to reflect recent changes to the governance structure of the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG). References to the OPG's responsibility for the Court of Protection's administrative functions have been removed, reflecting the move of the Court of Protection from the Office of the Public Guardian to Her Majesty's Court Service on the 1 April 2009. The document now also reflects the OPG's new clearer governance arrangements. This now consists of two boards-the statutory Public Guardian Board and the OPG's Executive Board-following the removal of the OPG Agency Board as a third board in the previous structure.

Copies of the Office of the Public Guardian Framework Document will also be available in the Vote Office and the Printed Paper Office and from the website of the OPG at

Police Ombudsman for Northern Ireland


Baroness Royall of Blaisdon: My right honourable friend the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland (Shaun Woodward) has made the following Ministerial Statement.

The Police Ombudsman for Northern Ireland's annual report and accounts for the year ended 31 March 2009 have been laid before the House today.

Prisoners: Legal Aid


The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Ministry of Justice (Lord Bach): The Legal Services Commission (LSC) will publish today a response to its consultation, published in February 2009, on prison law funding. The consultation focused on proposals to control the volume and cost of prison law cases and place funding on a sustainable basis for the future. Legal aid expenditure on prison law-which includes advice to prisoners on their treatment, discipline and sentence, and legal representation for parole hearings-has increased from £1 million in 2001-02 to nearly £22 million in 2008-09.

Following consultation, the LSC intends to implement a range of measures from July 2010 to control any further increase in prison law costs. The proposals, which will bring prison law funding arrangements in line with many other areas of legal aid, are:

a new fee scheme based on fixed and standard fees (amended in response to feedback from legal aid providers); a strengthened eligibility test, coupled with more clarity on the cases the LSC will and will not expect to fund in future; and a new quality requirement, based on 350 hours work annually, to ensure providers have sufficient experience and expertise in prison law.

In the light of consultation responses, the LSC has decided to assess the impact of these steps before introducing additional controls on the volume of cases or piloting alternative means of delivering prison law services, such as telephone advice.

15 July 2009 : Column WS94

Copies of Prison Law Funding: A Consultation Response have been placed in the Libraries of both Houses. The document can be downloaded from the consultation section of the LSC's website at

Renewable Fuels Agency: Annual Report and Accounts


The Secretary of State for Transport (Lord Adonis): My right honourable friend the Minister of State for Transport (Sadiq Khan) has made the following Ministerial Statement.

The Renewable Fuels Agency's annual report and accounts for 2008-09 (HC 877) have been laid before Parliament today, in accordance with paragraph 14 of the Schedule to the Renewable Transport Fuel Obligations Order 2007. The annual report and accounts include the report of the Comptroller and Auditor-General. Copies of the report will be placed in the Libraries of the House.

Article 14 of the Renewable Transport Fuel Obligations Order requires a further annual report to be published by the end of January 2010, detailing the operation of the renewable transport fuel obligations scheme in the 2008-09 obligation period. That annual report will also be laid before Parliament after publication, as provided in the order.

Schools: Primary School Places


The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Children, Schools and Families (Baroness Morgan of Drefelin): My right honourable friend the Minister of State for Schools and Learners (Vernon Coaker) has made the following Written Ministerial Statement.

It has become apparent in recent months that some local authorities are facing sudden and sharp increases in demand for primary pupil places. I am today announcing that £200 million of capital funding will be made available in the next financial year to authorities with exceptional need to assist them in building additional permanent primary school places by September 2011.

Detailed guidance on applying for this funding will shortly be made available by my department. Local authorities will have four weeks to apply and I aim to announce allocations in September.

This funding is in addition to the £1.75 billion of additional investment being made available through the Primary Capital Programme over the next two years, which is supported by significant additional investment committed by local authorities. It is also in addition to the £939 million of capital investment which has been brought forward from 2010-11 to 2009-10 to accelerate thousands of school modernisation projects across England and support jobs and local businesses.

I am also announcing today that the following six local authorities will enter the Building Schools for the

15 July 2009 : Column WS95

Future (BSF) programme this month: Barnet, Bolton, Hampshire, Peterborough, Sunderland and Wigan. Five of these authorities are new to BSF in line with our aim of getting all authorities into the programme as soon as is practicable.

These six authorities have now demonstrated satisfactorily to Partnership for Schools (PfS) that they are fully ready to start the full development of their projects. Another six local authority projects will join the programme in three months' time, with a further six three months after that. This rate of starts will maintain the current rate of delivery of BSF.

Next Section Back to Table of Contents Lords Hansard Home Page