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Review of healthcare services for young people

Healthcare Inspectorate Wales (HIW) today publishes its thematic report: ‘How are healthcare services meeting the needs of young people?’ HIW has made 37 recommendations for improvement.

This work is part of wider thematic work being undertaken jointly by Inspection Wales (Healthcare Inspectorate Wales, Care Inspectorate Wales, Estyn and Wales Audit Office).

The review brings together the key themes to have emerged from inspections undertaken over the last two years relating to children and young people, including in-patient Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS), treatment for physical health conditions in hospitals and care within children’s hospices.

The review has focussed on:
• Child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS)
• General healthcare services for young people
• Supporting young people with life-limiting conditions and palliative care
• Transition from child to adult healthcare services.

Overall, we found young people had predominately good experiences of care within services. We also found staff working hard to provide compassionate, dignified and person-centred care. However, we are concerned about the ability of CAMHS inpatient units in Wales to accommodate people who are high risk. This means that young people are not always able to receive timely care close to where they live and are having to be placed out-of-area. This problem needs to be addressed by Welsh Government.

It is also disappointing to find that many of the challenges young people face when moving between child and adult services are well known but still continue to be seen. More work is needed by health boards and Welsh Government to ensure young people across Wales have smooth and effective transition to support them into adulthood.

We expect this review promote improvement, and that the findings and recommendations will be carefully considered by Welsh Government, and health boards.