To ask the Secretary of State for Health what proportion of the total number of people detained under the Mental Health Act 1983 (a) aged under 16 years and (b) aged between 16 years and 18 years, have been detained on adult psychiatric wards in the most recent period for which figures are available.
The information is not centrally available. Placing adolescents on adult psychiatric wards is sometimes necessary and acceptable for clinical and practical reasons. The children's national service framework (NSF) sets a standard that:
'... young people who require admission to hospital for mental health care have access to appropriate care in an environment suited to their age and development'.
It advises that if a bed in an adolescent unit cannot be located for a young person, but that admission is essential for the safety and welfare of the user or others, then care may be provided on an adult ward for a short period.
The Government is committed to delivering the standards set out in the children's NSF.