Young Minds and the National Autistic Society (NAS) launched a March 2017 campaign to improve the rights of young people in inpatient units. The campaign called for NHS England to adopt the Always Charter (PDF download), which set out twelve rights that young people in inpatient units and their families should always have.
The charter is based on a survey of 448 parents whose children have been in mental health hospitals over the last five years. This survey found:
- Only 43% of parents felt that their child’s mental health has improved while in hospital, while 54% said that they have seen no improvement. A quarter (24%) thought that their child’s mental health had deteriorated a lot.
- 44% of parents felt unable to challenge decisions about their child’s treatment, while 52% did not know what rights their child has while in hospital.
- 44% couldn’t visit their child as often as they would have liked because of the distance or travel time.
- A third (33%) said that they were not consulted about decisions about medication, and 40% were uncomfortable with decisions made about medication.
- More than a third (39%) said their child was not supported to have a suitable education.