Mental health plans must not reinforce inequalities in quality and access
25 July 2018
The government has responded to the consultation following its green paper on children and young people’s mental health provision. The plans include:
- the Department of Health and Social Care selecting seven higher education providers to offer a new mental health practitioner course from next year
- training of up to 8000 new staff to work in mental health support teams
- the first mental health support teams treating children and young people with mild to moderate mental health problems in schools and helping those with more severe problems to access specialist NHS services.
In response, NHS Providers head of policy, Amber Jabbal, said:
"It is good to see that the government is pressing ahead with proposals to improve early identification and provision of mental health support for children and young people.
"We’re pleased that the cost of NHS supervision for the new mental health support teams will be covered in new funding, distributed through clinical commissioning groups.
It is vital these plans don’t reinforce inequalities in quality and access to specialist mental health services which are already a serious concern.Head of Policytweet this
"However, while the phased approach means children and young people in some 'trailblazer' areas could benefit quickly, many others in places that are already under-served could miss out.
"It is vital these plans don’t reinforce inequalities in quality and access to specialist mental health services which are already a serious concern.
"NHS children and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS) are already at full stretch and access thresholds in many places are too high, creating long waits and deteriorating mental health for too many children.
"Ensuring early access to specialised services for children identified through the schools-based services will require more NHS staff and resources to ensure these children’s needs are met in a timely and effective way, without adding to the waiting time and access pressures already faced across the country.
Ensuring early access to specialised services for children identified through the schools-based services will require more NHS staff and resources to ensure these children’s needs are met in a timely and effective way.
"Many mental health providers have seen their CAMHS services eroded, and have not received the promised investment from Future in Mind. Until the government can ensure funding reaches the frontline, children’s mental health services will continue to struggle in the face of rising demand and complexity of need.”