We were absolutely horrified to read about the emergency mental health response in the Bradford area (70 years of the NHS, 23 May) and the claim that there have been no “out of area” placements in its first year of operation. When our daughter needed this service, it was only available to those over 18. Because of the inadequacies of the local CAMHS, she and many other teenagers were and continue to be placed in totally inadequate inpatient “care” a long way from family and friends. A year ago our daughter was sent over 200 miles from home. She was left to die in one of these facilities, a particularly brutal, chaotic and uncaring place which has consistently failed in every CQC inspection since it opened. It was only because of the expertise of the paramedics who attended the scene and the skills of the trauma unit at the local hospital that she survived, albeit with a raft of ongoing and life-changing medical complications. Young people continue to be failed by the system which is, in our experience, not fit for purpose or responsive at the time of need.
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• Bev Humphrey (The underfunding of the NHS is almost conspiratorial, 16 May) makes an excellent point about the lack of coordination between mental health services and the criminal justice system. Fear evokes a fight or flight response. The NHS would see its role as helping people to manage their reactions to fear if they have a severe impact on their life. If your response is to run then the NHS will be eager to help. If your response is aggression then the doors of the mental health service will be closed to you. Those in our prison system have lived through neglect, fear, humiliation and abuse, often with role models who taught them that violence was the answer. When we leave children to grow up in these environments we cannot turn our backs because we find their responses unpalatable.
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