Second Bristol children’s mental health ward to close

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image captionThe Priory provides child and adolescent mental health services for NHS patients

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.css-14iz86j-BoldText{font-weight:bold;}A second mental health unit for young people has closed in Bristol, temporarily leaving the city without any residential beds for children.

The Priory .css-yidnqd-InlineLink:link{color:#3F3F42;}.css-yidnqd-InlineLink:visited{color:#696969;}.css-yidnqd-InlineLink:link,.css-yidnqd-InlineLink:visited{font-weight:bolder;border-bottom:1px solid #BABABA;-webkit-text-decoration:none;text-decoration:none;}.css-yidnqd-InlineLink:link:hover,.css-yidnqd-InlineLink:visited:hover,.css-yidnqd-InlineLink:link:focus,.css-yidnqd-InlineLink:visited:focus{border-bottom-color:currentcolor;border-bottom-width:2px;color:#B80000;}@supports (text-underline-offset:0.25em){.css-yidnqd-InlineLink:link,.css-yidnqd-InlineLink:visited{border-bottom:none;-webkit-text-decoration:underline #BABABA;text-decoration:underline #BABABA;-webkit-text-decoration-thickness:1px;text-decoration-thickness:1px;-webkit-text-decoration-skip-ink:none;text-decoration-skip-ink:none;text-underline-offset:0.25em;}.css-yidnqd-InlineLink:link:hover,.css-yidnqd-InlineLink:visited:hover,.css-yidnqd-InlineLink:link:focus,.css-yidnqd-InlineLink:visited:focus{-webkit-text-decoration-color:currentcolor;text-decoration-color:currentcolor;-webkit-text-decoration-thickness:2px;text-decoration-thickness:2px;color:#B80000;}}closed its intensive care unit, known as Banksy, in July, and its Brunel ward is also now shut.

The hospital said both closures were down to difficulties recruiting permanent, specialist staff.

The city’s only remaining ward for children with complex problems is also currently closed for refurbishment.

The Riverside at Blackberry Hill Hospital, run by Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust, will provide 12 beds when it reopens in March.

The latest closure means the next nearest Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) Tier 4 ward is in Devon.

A spokesman for The Priory said: “Despite sustained efforts over the last two years to staff the ward with a permanent team of experienced specialists, we found there was an ongoing requirement to use high levels of agency staff, which was not in the best interests of the acutely unwell young people we supported.

“Although very disappointing, we felt that closing the ward was the only decision available to us as a responsible provider.”

The Riverside at Blackberry Hill Hospitalimage copyrightBray and Slaughter
image captionThe Riverside at Blackberry Hill Hospital will provide 12 beds when it reopens in March

The BBC spoke to the mother of a young girl who was treated at Brunel ward earlier this year.

The woman, who is not being named, said: “My daughter’s early treatment could have been better, and communication was poor.

“I complained and did get an apology about my daughter’s admission and about communication.

“There are some brilliant people there and I can’t criticise individuals – but my daughter’s care was inconsistent because of a high level of agency staff – and poor record keeping.”

NHS England said it supported the decision and has worked with the hospital to find alternative care arrangements for all of the patients who were on the unit.

A spokesman said: “In recent years we increased the number of early intervention services so we can support young people closer to home and reduce the demand on inpatient beds.

“We are carrying out a review into child and adolescent mental health service provision across the South West with the aim of introducing more early intervention services as well as increasing bed capacity.”

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