"Teenager in an adult acute mental health ward."

About: Crosshouse Hospital / General Psychiatry

(as the patient),

I was in the adult ward for 5 weeks. They were extremely understanding and supportive, especially as children were not they're specialty. I had to be watched at all times as it is the law but the staff didn't make me feel too


My mum keeps in touch with one of the nursing assistants who I particularly became fond of, as she encouraged me to share my thoughts and feelings and made me feel comfortable in such an intimidating place.

My only negative I could give in the entire experience was that I did not belong in an adult ward, and it took 5 weeks to be transferred to an adolescent unit. This is simply the fault of a lack of mental health adolescent beds, and considering there was someone else in the ward with me, my age, at the same time, really highlights how bad it can get.

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Response from Eunice Goodwin, Patient Feedback Manager for NHS Ayrshire and Arran, Quality Improvement and Governance Team, NHS Ayrshire and Arran

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Dear happiernow,

May I say it saddens me that someone so young needs our mental health services at all and hopefully you are well now and stay well. Most adults would have felt intimidated in the same place; you must be a strong person even though you may not think it. Be very proud of yourself to have coped so well and letting us know how about your experience.

It is such a shame that you had to be in an adult ward and then had to wait so long for a bed in the adolescent service and I am really sorry that was the case. I am glad your experience of care was good on the whole, but we really do need to find a way to match the availability within the service with the needs of our young people.

I know this may not seem very helpful, but I think the service is aware that there are not enough places to help young people with mental health issues and I believe there are moves trying to change that. It may be helpful for you to talk through your experience with a senior manager from the service and if you would like to do so, we can make that happen. Please feel free to contact me on my personal email address (eunice.goodwin@aapct.scot.nhs.uk) or call me on 01563 826222 if you would like to arrange to meet and talk with one of the managers.

I will pass this on to the managers and the team so they can benefit from your experience and help them to push to improve the service. If there is anything you think can be changed immediately, please let us know, no matter how small it may seem. Keep sharing your thoughts and feelings.

Best wishes


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Response from Derek Barron, Associate Nurse Director, Mental Health Services, NHS Ayrshire and Arran

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Dear happiernow

Thank you for taking the time to flag up your experience, I'm glad you felt the care when you were in the ward was supportive - I will ensure this is passed onto the ward.

I understand it can be distressing being admitted to an adult ward (indeed any ward), our preference is that young people are not admitted to our wards and we have invested in community teams to help support treating people at home where it is safe to do so - however sometimes admission is the safest and most appropriate clinical option available to us.

I have spoken to Carol Fisher (Healthcare Manager for CAMHS) and Linda Boyd (Healthcare Manager for the wards) regarding your posting. Carol will be providing you with a fuller response later today which will help explain the way that CAMHS services are planned to ensure we have inpatient services and community services working together to wrap round the needs of young people.

The Mental Welfare Commission for Scotland are informed every time we admit a young person to our wards, they also recognise that while not our preferred option, at times admission is the safest option.

Currently we have no plans to develop CAMHS inpatient services here in Ayrshire and continue to work closely with regional colleagues to ensure services provided when we need them.

Following Carol’s response you may wish to speak to her directly or Tommy Stevenson, Clinical Services Manager.

Thank you for taking the time to gives us you feedback, it is always helpful to hear the experience of people using our services.



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Response from Derek Barron, Associate Nurse Director, Mental Health Services, NHS Ayrshire and Arran

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Dear happiernow,

Apologies for the delay in responding - Carol Fisher sent this response prior to going on leave, to be posted on her behalf, currently she is sorting out her own login for Patient Opinion.

Dear happernow

First of all thank you very much for taking the time to post your opinion. I am pleased that your experience in our adult in patient unit was a positive one. Our adult inpatient teams and CAMHs community team work well together to support young people when they require admission to an adult bed. It’s important to keep people as close to their home and family as possible, and working together is critical.

We always try to minimise hospital stay whether in a children’s or adult ward or adolescent unit. However sometimes this is the most appropriate option for a young person and we work together with our colleagues in Skye House, West of Scotland Adolescent Unit to obtain a bed in the unit as soon as is possible. Our CAMHs Team in Ayrshire, as you know is a community based team, and as I said earlier we strive to look after young people in their own community close to home, family, school and friends and I hope that you will continue to keep well and feel supported by our team.

If you would like to meet with either myself of Tommy Stevenson, Clinical Operations Manager in CAMHS please let us know and we will be very happy to arrange.

Thank you again for posting this feedback.

Best wishes

Carol Fisher

Health Care Manager, Mental Health Specialist Services

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Response from Derek Barron, Associate Nurse Director, Mental Health Services, NHS Ayrshire and Arran

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Dear Happiernow

This response is posted on behalf of Linda Boyd, Health Care Manager, Mental Health & Offender Services. Linda is currently in the process of setting up her own login details for Patient Opinion however wanted to avoid a delay in responding.

Can I start by saying thank you for taking the time to tell us about your experience. I am pleased that you felt the care and treatment you received within the ward was positive and that you felt supported in your recovery. I will share this with the ward staff.

We understand that anyone being admitted to hospital can find this distressing but recognise this can be particularly difficult for a young person. We recognise that an adult ward is not the ideal environment for a young person but at times is necessary to provide safe care and treatment.

Within our adult wards we work closely with our colleagues in the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service to ensure we provide a safe, therapeutic and supportive environment for you and your family.

Providing feedback is valuable, it helps us to review and develop our services further. I wish you well on your ongoing recovery.

Thank you

Linda Boyd, Health Care Manager, Mental Health & Offender Services

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