We believe that children and young people get the best care when they are at home supported by their friends and families, and local services. But sometimes a young person becomes so unwell that they need to be admitted. We will always look first for ways to provide more support and treatment that will allow you be safely managed at home, close to your family and friends.

When this isn’t possible it becomes absolutely necessary that hospital admission is needed, it’s because it’s the safest place for you at that time. It’s no one’s fault, just a logical step to keep you safe and give you the extra support you need to get you through a particularly difficult time.

We try and keep you as close to home as possible, and for the shortest time possible, and to get you home as soon as you are well enough.

This will depend on lots of things. It’s never the aim to keep young people in for a long time; the aim is always to discharge you when you’re able to cope in the community without the need for a hospital.

Don’t worry, your family don’t have to pay; your treatment is all paid for by the NHS. Travel costs to the hospital are separate and are generally unpaid for though.

If you’re being placed far away, it’s usually because there are no beds available closer to home and the risk is too high to wait for one to become available. Depending on the urgency of your treatment and bed availability, you can be put on a priority list to be placed in a hospital closer to home if a bed becomes available, but there’s no guarantee.

If you’re under 16, your parents need to give consent for a hospital admission. If you are over 16, you have more of a say.

It will vary, but wards can hold between 10 and 20 beds.