Charity Warns Of Child Mental Health Care Problems

Issues With Quality Of Mental Health Care And Access For Children And Adolescents


Andrew Robinson, Press Officer | 0113 218 6463

The Health Foundation has warned that there is a dearth of data available on the quality of mental health care and services for young people, with the information that is available suggesting huge problems in accessing care amid rising demand.

Although last week's budget allocated £1.25bn in funding for mental health services, the charity has also warned that the amount of improvement required is still vast.

Fewer than 40% of local services have specific provisions for children and adolescents. Some young people are waiting more than a year to access specialist care for mental health problems such as eating disorders.

The Health Foundation's research also found that the data available on NHS care is broadly inconsistent, preventing improvements from being made. There is no nationally available data on the outcomes of care for Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) within the NHS, for example.

The approach to measuring performance has also been slammed by the charity, which has branded the change to focusing on narrow targets such as waiting times as "backwards".

Felicity Dormon, senior policy fellow at the Health Foundation, said: "Honest conversations will need to be had about the trade-offs to be made by investing in children's mental health over other services.

"But the human and economic cost of failing to improve the quality of care for children and young people with mental health problems will be enormous for individuals and for society."

Sometimes mental health professionals can fail in the duty of care. If you or a loved one has suffered due to professional or medical negligence we can help you to claim compensation. Visit our Mental Health Negligence Claims page for more information.

Expert Opinion
Poor mental health care for young people puts them at serious risk of harm. In our work with those suffering mental health issues we know that long waiting times for assessment and treatment is costing lives and destroying families. Getting the most appropriate care as quickly as possible is absolutely critical for those with mental health issues and in some cases, it can be the difference between life and death.

“It is absolutely vital that local healthcare providers are able to put provisions in place for children and adolescents as the current situation, where vulnerable young people are waiting more than a year for the help and support they need, is not good enough.

"It is crucial more is done to improve care and resources for mental health patients, both in terms of access to services, and in ensuring that those with mental health problems are given the same priority as those with physical symptoms.
Tom Fletcher, Associate