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1848 Adolescents in hospital, which wards are they admitted to and is this appropriate?
  1. Laura Chapman1,
  2. Georgina Wicks1,
  3. Amanda Friend2
  1. 1NHS
  2. 2Birmingham Children’s Trust


Objectives Adolescents’ requirements differ from those of adults or children.1 The Teenage Cancer Trust recommends specialist wards for teenagers aged 13–18 years, coinciding with the ‘You’re Welcome’ quality criteria emphasising an importance for age-appropriate environments.2,3 We aimed to identify the number of teenage admissions to Leeds Children’s Hospital, and their reasons for admission over a one-year period to investigate the potential need for an adolescent ward.

Methods A retrospective service evaluation was used to identify 13–18-year-olds admitted to Leeds Children’s Hospital between 1st September 2017 and 31st August 2018. PPM+ electronic records were used to identify patients’ date of birth, date of admission & discharge, reason for admission, admitting ward, and specialty. Microsoft Excel Facilitated the analysis. Admissions were categorised based on admission reason, and whether they were elective or acute. Mean duration of stay, proportion of elective & acute admissions, and the proportion of outliers was calculated for each category.

Results There were 1,856 adolescent admissions during this time from 1,363 distinct patients. Acute admissions accounted for 74.5% of admissions, whilst the remainder were elective. Average duration of admission was 3.8 days. Surgery formed the majority of admissions at 27.4% and medical comprising of 23.4%. 16.9% of all patients admitted were outliers, the largest proportion of which were mental health patients, with 59.7% of admissions admitted to an outlying ward.

Conclusions A large number of adolescents were admitted to the Leeds Children’s Hospital, where patients would not have been in age-appropriate environments. Considering this and the number of outliers, this study has highlighted a need for dedicated ward space suitable for adolescent needs.


  1. Platt, H. The Welfare of Children in Hospital - PMC. British Medical Journal 1959;1: 167–169.

  2. Department of Health. Department of Health Quality criteria for young people friendly health services. (2011).

  3. Smith, S. & Case, K. A blueprint of care for teenagers and young adults with cancer. Teenage Cancer Trust (2012).

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