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.

Important notes:

  • Whenever possible young people should be admitted to an age-appropriate environment. These standards have been developed to guide services at times when young people are admitted to non-specialist wards. It is important that, when this does happen, the young person receives the best age-appropriate care possible in relation to their needs in a safe and therapeutic environment.
  • Decision-making about where a young person should be admitted can sometimes be complex and involve multiple factors. Appendix 1 provides a decision making tree ("Protocol for admission to non-specialist wards for young people") to help guide clinicians through aspects of this decision making process when an admission is required.
  • These standards apply to all young people under the age of 18, including those who have left school and are working, living independently and have been referred by the adult CMHT.
  • Using these standards will not guarantee that Boards are compliant with the requirements of legislation in every case. The standards are not a substitute for legal advice, and Boards must ensure that every young person is assessed.



Back to top