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Paediatric inpatient services for adolescents in England
  1. Naren Siva1,
  2. Joseph Lloyd Ward1,
  3. Anne-Lise Goddings1,2
  1. 1University College London Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health, London, UK
  2. 2River Island Academic Centre, London North West University Healthcare NHS Trust, London, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Anne-Lise Goddings, University College London Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health, London WC1N 1EH, UK; anne-lise.goddings{at}ucl.ac.uk

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There is growing scrutiny regarding the quality of inpatient care for adolescents in England, and whether services can meet their unique medical and psychosocial needs.1 Adolescents represent a substantial proportion of paediatric health service users and have a rising chronic disease burden. Adolescents with chronic conditions have high unplanned admission rates and longer hospital stays than younger groups. Despite broad agreement that inpatient services should cater specifically to adolescents’ needs, there are sparse data available detailing what is actually happening on the ground.

We surveyed the paediatric clinical leads of all 155 National Health Service (NHS) England hospitals with acute inpatient paediatric services to understand the current provision for adolescents. The 115 (74%) respondents reported substantial variation in current practice. Half of paediatric inpatient services routinely admit only patients <16 years to paediatric wards, with admission policies for those …

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Footnotes

  • X @_joe_ward, @algoddings

  • Contributors A-LG conceived the idea for the study. NS collected the data. All authors designed the questionnaire, analysed the data and contributed to writing the letter.

  • Funding A-LG and JLW are funded by NIHR Clinical Lectureships.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; internally peer reviewed.