To obtain a prioritised list of psychiatrists' concerns relating to in-patient child and adolescent mental health services. Four-hundred and fifty-four members of the child and adolescent faculty of the Royal College of Psychiatrists were asked to list their main concerns.
Two-hundred and seventy-four members responded. The most reported themes included lack of emergency beds; lack of services for severe or high-risk cases; lack of beds in general; poor liaison with patients' local services; lack of specialist services; and poor geographic distribution of services.
The range of themes identified from this survey have served to focus the National In-patient Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Study (NICAPS) and several design changes have been made to NICAPS as a result.