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Appropriate mental health treatment for Matthew Garnett

Volume 609: debated on Tuesday 3 May 2016

The petition of Isabelle and Robin Garnett,

Declares that the petitioner’s son, Matthew Garnett, has been detained under the Mental Health Act in an emergency transitional Psychiatric Intensive Care Unit for six months; further that he is not receiving appropriate care or treatment; further that he appears to be regressing which is causing enormous distress to his family; further that he has recently sustained a broken wrist; further that a specialist facility (Malcolm Arnold House, St Andrew’s in Northampton) accepted his referral in August 2015; further that Matthew urgently needs to be admitted to this facility so that he can be properly assessed and treated; and notes that an online petition of the same nature has received 262,636 signatories.

The petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons urges the Government to look urgently at this case and ensure that a bed can be made available for Matthew Garnett at Malcolm Arnold House as soon as possible, and to take action to address the wider issue of inpatient services for children and adolescents with mental health difficulties.

And the petitioners remain, etc. —[Presented by Helen Hayes, Official Report, 14 March 2016; Vol. 607, c. 756.]


Observations from The Minister for Community and Social Care (Alistair Burt): The Minister of State for Community and Social Care MS(CS), Alistair Burt, has recently been made aware of cases where there have been issues around the provision of children and young people’s mental health care.

To address these issues, the Minister recently met with the family of one of these children, Matthew Garnett to hear of their experiences about where they think the system could be improved to support children and young people who have complex needs to get the right mental health care.

Since this meeting, the Minister has asked NHS England, which is responsible for commissioning in-patient care for children and young people with mental health needs, to carry out a review of Matthew Garnett’s case.

Michael Marsh, the Medical Director of Specialised Commissioning for NHS London, chaired the review. The review is now preparing recommendations for local improvements. The Minister has asked to see the report of the review and its recommendations as soon as they are available.

The Minister has also asked Department of Health officials to work with an independent expert to see if there are more general systemic issues to be addressed as the Government implement the transformation programme to improve children and young people’s mental health, as set out in the Government’s report Future in Mind. This work will proceed as soon as the report of the review and its recommendations are available.

Matthew Garnett has now been transferred to St. Andrew’s Hospital in Northampton, which is able to provide the care he needs.