Warnings over NHS mental health care issued in 14 young deaths in five years

Coroners have issued reports to prevent future deaths in at least 14 cases involving CAMHS in England

Children with mental health problems are dying because of failings in NHS treatment, coroners across England have said in what psychiatrists and campaigners have called “deeply concerning” findings.

In the last five years coroners have issued reports to prevent future deaths in at least 14 cases in which under-18s have died while being treated by children’s and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS).

Sky Rollings, who died four days after being admitted to hospital. Pressure was applied for her to be transferred after she turned 18 and no longer qualified for child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS). Instead of receiving the standard six-month transition, the college student was given six weeks.

Mary Bush, who was assessed three weeks later than she should have been. There was a delay in Mary receiving psychological therapy, and she was still on the waiting list at the time of her death aged 15.

Sam Gould, 16, who took her own life in September 2018. A coroner said “systemic weaknesses and failings” in communication between healthcare agencies probably caused her death.

Becky Romero, 15, who died at her home in Bristol. The coroner ruled she died as a direct consequence of neglect by the NHS, because the service that was supposed to help her did not have enough resources.

In the UK and Ireland, Samaritans can be contacted on 116 123 or email jo@samaritans.org or jo@samaritans.ie. In the US, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is 1-800-273-8255. In Australia, the crisis support service Lifeline is 13 11 14. Other international helplines can be found at www.befrienders.org.

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Category: Mental Health