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Mind the gap: addressing mental health competency on the acute paediatric ward
  1. Emily Todd,
  2. Rebecca Adamson,
  3. Elizabeth Leith,
  4. Anne Davies
  1. Paediatrics, West Middlesex University Hospital NHS Trust, London, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Emily Todd, Paediatrics, West Middlesex University Hospital NHS Trust, London, UK; emily.todd4{at}

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In acute paediatrics, there is lack of parity between the care of patients with physical and mental health problems, and as paediatricians, we must equip ourselves to redress the balance. This is reflected nationally in National Confidential Enquiry into Patient Outcome and Death and Care Quality Commission data.1 2 We recognise the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health’s position statement on the role of the paediatrician in supporting children and young people’s (CYP) mental health3 and the dramatic rise in mental health presentations during the COVID-19 pandemic.4–6


To improve quality of care and staff confidence when working with CYP with mental health issues admitted to the acute paediatric ward of a general paediatric department in a London district general hospital (20 inpatient beds, 14 856 admissions per year).7

Making a case for change

We performed a full cycle audit on inpatient CYP with mental health diagnoses to assess current practice provided by the paediatric team: …

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  • ET, RA, EL and AD contributed equally.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

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