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Funding for child only mental health beds

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The government has announced £31m to increase bed capacity and facilities for child and adolescent mental health services in England.

The funding will be split between 17 projects, providing 150 new or refurbished beds. It is part of the government’s pledge to ensuring no child is treated on an adult mental health ward by this time next year.

Other parts of the funding will go towards equipment and community support services, health minister Ivan Lewis said today.

‘Vulnerable children deserve age appropriate services that recognise, irrespective of their condition, that they are first and foremost children,’ he said.

Brian Rogers, professional officer for the Mental Health Nurses Association, welcomed the investment. ‘They should not be at the mercy of adult patients who could be aggressive, even predatory. Ideally, we would like to see no child under 18 in this situation,’ he said.

Steve Shrubb, director of the NHS Confederation’s Mental Health Network, added: ‘It may not be the whole solution but it is good to see words backed up with actions.’

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