Last reviewed 25 February 2014

Freedom of Information requests by the BBC and the online journal Community Care show that 350 under-18s have been treated on adult mental health wards to date in 2013-14. This is up from 257 in 2012-13.

Twelve under-16s were also treated on these wards during the same period (up from three in 2012-13).

Many young people also have to travel hundreds of miles from their home for treatment – a practice that the Department of Health (DoH) had said would stop by 2010. Eighteen of the trusts that provided data had sent young people over 150 miles for treatment.

The charity Young Minds blamed the increase in young people placed on adult wards on cuts to early intervention services over the last four years, which meant that problems were being allowed to escalate.

In response, the DoH said that NHS England is also conducting a three-month rapid review into the situation. It also emphasised that £54 million has been invested in improving services "through better monitoring, sharing best practice and improving access to specialist talking therapies for young people".