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Friday, 08 June 2018

Concern over unsuitable accommodation of teenage girl who 'violently self-harms'

Written by Brian Farmer

A High Court judge has raised concern about the welfare of a troubled teenage girl who professionals think should be in a specialist secure unit.

Mr Justice Hayden heard that the teenager, who "violently self-harms", was currently housed in "unsuitable" accommodation.

He said she was in "desperate" and "parlous" circumstances.

The judge raised concerns on Friday when analysing the girl's case at a hearing in the Family Division of the High Court in London.

He heard evidence from lawyers representing social services bosses and medics involved in the girl's care, and NHS England, and was told that professionals were trying to find the right accommodation for her.

Barrister Benjamin Tankel, who represented NHS England and a local clinical commissioning group, said the girl's current accommodation was unsuitable.

He said all professionals involved now thought that the best option was for the girl to move to a specialist secure unit.

Mr Tankel said it was hoped that a suitable unit could be found soon.

The judge said he was "far from satisfied" that "the professionals" had been doing their jobs properly.

Several judges have in recent years raised concern about a shortage of secure accommodation places for teenagers in England and Wales.

The most senior family court judge in England and Wales raised concern nearly two years ago.

Sir James Munby, President of the Family Division of the High Court, said in October 2016 that the problem had led to social services bosses at English councils trying to place children in secure accommodation units in Scotland.

Copyright (c) Press Association Ltd. 2018, All Rights Reserved. Kate Collins / PA Wire.