On the day briefing: Review of children and young people's mental health services - phase one report
The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has published the Review of children and young people’s mental health services. This is the report of phase 1 of its thematic review of children and young people’s mental health services and NHS children and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS). It provides a comprehensive thematic overview of issues impacting on the quality of children’s mental health services as they are currently commissioned and delivered.
This report is based on a literature review of existing research and evidence on children and young people’s mental health services in England. It has received input from people with expert knowledge and experience of CAMHS, including an expert advisory group (of which NHS Providers is a member); children and young people experts by experience, and children in care and their carers.
Key messages from the briefing include:
- The system for children and young people’s mental health services is complex and fragmented, and different parts of the system do not always work together in a joined-up way.
- Early opportunities to provide support are being missed because people working in school and primary care settings may lack the necessary skills in mental health. Combined with workforce pressures, this is placing specialist services under increasing pressures and children are waiting longer for admissions, often having to travel out of area to be admitted.
- Some children and young people are falling through the gaps in the system. Vulnerable children and those with a learning disability face particular challenges in getting timely access to good care.
- Most NHS specialist services are rated as good or outstanding and across all services there are examples of good and outstanding practice, but there is also variation in the quality of care.
- Safety remains the CQC’s biggest overall concern about specialist services, followed by staffing matters and a lack of person-centred care approaches in some services.
- Phase 2 of the CQC’s review including fieldwork in ten local areas, will explore the reasons for variation and what could be done to make it easier to improve access and quality.