The 33-year-old mum took her 15-year-old daughter to Bassetlaw Hospital on November 22 as she had reached a ‘critical point’ and was calling out for help but the teenager – who we are not identifying to protect her during this vulnerable time – was given an amber rating and advised she could return home.
“When [she was] questioned about how low she felt, she told the nurse she wanted to kill herself and if she went home she would consider taking her own life,” her mum said.
“After this, she was assessed and ranked with an amber rating and told she could return home on the conditions that I could watch her for 24-hours until the crisis team came out to visit her. Two days later they told her she would have access to the crisis team on the phone.
“I explained that watching her for 24-hours was not possible as I have two other children and I demanded that she stayed in hospital. She was admitted overnight and then discharged the following day.
“Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) didn’t come out to see her, as promised, two days after she had been discharged.”
However, the mum praised the accident and emergency nurses and said: “If it wasn’t for the nurse, and had been down to CAMHS, my daughter wouldn’t have been admitted – CAMHS told us not to go to the hospital and advised staff to send her home.”
The teenager has suffered with mental health problems for around five years after her mum was diagnosed with cancer in 2014. There has been CAMHS involvement over this time, but she dropped out of group sessions because of her anxiety.
Her mum added: “After her school had noticed the issues, family services offered emotional support in school but discharged her without myself and the school being made aware. The waiting list for CAMHS is sky-high, they’re in high demand and at breaking-point.
“My daughter was classed as an amber rating so then what does it take to be classed as red? This concerns me. Are they really doing enough for children with mental health issues and is the suicide rate getting higher because of this sort of approach to children’s mental health conditions? Change is needed.”
David Purdue, Director of Nursing, Midwifery and Allied Health Professionals at Doncaster and Bassetlaw Teaching Hospitals, said: “All patients who arrive at our Emergency Departments undergo medical observations to ensure they are physically well. If the clinician is concerned about an individual’s mental health, a process is followed to assess their condition, and, if required, a referral is made to the local mental health specialist, or in the case of a young person, Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services.
“If we believe a patient presents a significant risk to themselves or others, a range of options are available to our health professionals, from offering the patient a bed under observation for a 24 to 48 period to sectioning the individual under the Mental Health Act.”