A child who attempted suicide was given “unreasonable” treatment by doctors in Tayside, a regulator has said.
The youngster, identified as ‘A’, should have been assessed for behavioural disorder ADHD sooner, the Scottish Public Services Ombudsman (SPSO) ruled.
The finding states the teenager ought to have been given better emergency assessment following incidents of self-harm or attempted suicide, and considered for admittance to an in-patient psychiatric facility.
Mental health services criticised
The SPSO upheld the complaint which stated: “C, a support and advocacy worker, complained to us on behalf of their client (B) about the care and treatment provided to their child (A).
“Over a 10-year period, A had several referrals to the board’s children and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS) on both a routine and emergency basis.
“C raised various concerns, in particular about delays in diagnosing A and that A was not admitted for in-patient psychiatric treatment following incidents of self-harm or attempted suicide.”
The SPSO also raised concerns over communication from CAMHS staff and that NHS Tayside did not immediately provide patient records to the ombudsman when requested.
It comes after The Courier reported recently that some people with a mental illness have approached local services to ask for help, only to be turned away.
And an independent review of how much services are improving recently found many staff feel “undervalued and undermined almost daily”.
NHS Tayside apologise
The health board has been told to apologise to the child and family concerned.
The SPSO also listed a series of measures which should be put right in the future.
- “When a young person has regular multidisciplinary meetings, CAMHS should have a clear understanding of the level of input they will be required to provide from the outset in consultation with the other professionals, and provide appropriate input in line with this clarification. This should be documented appropriately.
- “When a young person with autism spectrum disorder and/or ADHD is not engaging with treatment, clinical staff should recognise this might be because of their condition(s) and try to adapt their approaches to better engage them.
- “Young people presenting with symptoms of ADHD should be appropriately and timeously assessed, taking into account relevant clinical guidance.
- “Full documentation, including electronic records, relating to the matters under investigation should be collated and supplied to this office in response to our initial request for information.”
An NHS Tayside spokesperson said: “We are sorry that treatment and care in this case fell below the standard we would expect.
“We have actioned all the recommendations in the report and we have apologised to the patient’s family.”