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does anyone know how it works with child placement and distance from home?

(3 Posts)
NotSittingRight Tue 12-Jan-16 11:06:05

A family member has a child who is to be admitted to a psychiatric hospital for autism.

They've been told beds are scare and they may have to travel as far as 300 miles from home. Obviously this comes as a huge blow to the family who are suffering enough as it is.

But I wondered if anyone knows how it works. Is it best for a child to be moved closer to home when a bed becomes available or is it better to get settled someone a long way from home.

The child is middle-school age.

Clare1971 Thu 14-Jan-16 17:47:09

They will try to keep close to home if possible but as you've been told, beds are scarce and sometimes there just aren't any local. Our local adolescent psychiatric unit often has youngsters from the other side of the country. Some units are also more set up for autism than others so that will be taken into account too. Once in a place, the clinical team there will make the decision about whether to move nearer to home if a bed becomes available depending on how well they are responding to treatment - if it's going well they will probably aim to stabilise before moving but they do take into account the effect of the family not being able to visit often where they can. Generally nearer is better because then the young person can come home on leave for short periods in preparation for discharge. There are different levels of care too so that will effect where they will be placed. There are fewer units for very high dependency levels so it may be that a young person is placed a long way from home if they need PICU (pyschiatric Intensive care unit) and are then 'stepped down' when things improve to a more general unit which might be nearer to home. Also, middle school is quite young - some units only take from 13 so that might also be causing problems.

NotSittingRight Thu 14-Jan-16 21:49:53

Thank you, that is very helpful and comprehensive information. That might explain why they keep talking of placement but can't find one just yet. Seems rather complex.

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