Glenrothes parents plea for son to be treated at home

Nina Ni and Clinton Chen with photos of their son Tianze. Pic: FPA
Nina Ni and Clinton Chen with photos of their son Tianze. Pic: FPA

A Glenrothes mum and dad have spoken of their heartbreak at being forced to leave their teenage autistic son stranded in a hospital in England because there is no suitable placement for him in Scotland.

Tianze’s parents, Nina Ni and Clinton Chen, desperately want to bring him home but they can’t get help from Fife Council to do so as the local authority says there is nowhere suitable in the Kingdom for the 16-year-old as he requires a very specialist service.

Nina has now written to Gordon Brown MP, Michael Matheson MSP, Scottish minister for public health, as well as First Minister Alex Salmond for help in finding a resolution.

Tianze was ordered to undergo tests and treatment at an English hospital by a mental health tribunal four months ago.

But he still remains in a hospital in Middlesbrough, after social workers failed to find him a placement in Scotland.

Nina said: “The local authority says it has found a residential placement for him in England but this has shocked us.

‘‘We can’t accept it.

‘‘He is a vulnerable autistic young boy and has been extremely homesick.

‘‘We want to bring him home.”

Dougie Dunlop, head of service, Fife Council said: “Young people such as Tianze have particular care and medical needs which requires a very specialist service.

‘‘We will always try and arrange care for young people as close to the family home as we can.

‘‘However, where there are very particular needs, it’s not always possible.

‘‘At times where there are complex issues, legal processes have to be followed before we can put any care arrangements into place.”

He added financial assistance will be provided when a family has to travel a distance.

Government view

A Scottish Government spokesman said the Government has invested £13.4 million over four years to improve access to autism services.

He said lead clinicians will try to treat patients in their own health board area, but this may not be possible if the specialised support is not available.

He said where cross border transfer is necessary, the NHS and local authorities work to support the patient and their families and assist in the return of the patient as soon as appropriate.