Admission to adult mental health wards for under 18's - adaptation for Scotland: guidance

Best practice guidance to aid implementation of s23 of the Mental Health (Care & Treatment)( Scotland) Act 2003 which places a duty on health boards to provide sufficient services and accommodation to meet the needs of young people under 18 when they are admitted to hospital for treatment of a mental disorder.


The team gratefully acknowledges the Royal College of Psychiatrists for allowing us to use their standards 'Safe and Appropriate care for young people on adult mental health wards' (2009) as the basis for the Scottish standards.

Thanks to those involved in the development of the Scottish version, this includes
Dr Helen Dawson (Mental Welfare Commission for Scotland), the CAMHS Lead Clinicians group, Ruth Christie (Mental Health Unit, Scottish Government), Rebecca Brown (Assistant Psychologist, NHS Lothian), Sarah Main (Assistant Psychologist, NHS Lothian), Professor Cathy Richards (CAMHS Advisor Scottish Government) and key stakeholders from CAMHS and AMHS across NHS Scotland.

Glossary of abbreviations

A&E Accident and Emergency
AIMS Accreditation for Inpatient Mental Health Services
AMHS Adult Mental Health Services
ASD Autism Spectrum Disorder
BNF British National Formulary
CAMHS Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services
CAMHS LD Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services Learning Disability
CPA Care Programme Approach
CMHT Community Mental Health Team
IPCU Intensive Psychiatric Care Unit
GIRFEC Getting It Right For Every Child
LSCB Local Safeguarding Children Board
MDT Multi-Disciplinary Team: all health professionals involved in patient care
MHA Mental Health Act
MWCS Mental Welfare Commission for Scotland
NICE National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence
NMHDU National Mental Health Development Unit (formerly known as the National Institute for Mental Health in England – NIMHE)
PVG Protecting Vulnerable Groups membership scheme
RMO Responsible Medical Officer
RCPsych Royal College of Psychiatrists
SIGN Scottish Intercollegiate Guidelines Network
STAR Salford Tool for Assessment of Risk
YPU Young Person's Unit



Back to top