Safe mental health care for youngsters a priority for under-strain trusts

25 May 2023

In response to a Healthcare Safety Investigation Branch (HSIB) report about keeping children and young people with mental health needs safe, Saffron Cordery, deputy chief executive of NHS Providers, said:

"Safe care for vulnerable young people is a top priority for NHS trusts. Overstretched services are seeing many more young people, often with more complex needs, particularly as a result of the pandemic.

"We welcome that HSIB has highlighted efforts by several hospitals to make environments as safe as possible and to work with others in the system, but the findings are concerning and underline the need for mental health services to have the same support as those for physical health.

"Services for children and young people have come under increasing pressure over the last few years. We need a sustained focus on investment in capital, resources and staff with the right skills, expertise and support to boost capacity in hospitals and ensure that patients with the most severe needs are cared for in first-class, therapeutic, safe and appropriate environments.

"We also need much more care in the community and earlier intervention and prevention services for children and young people.

"And we need to see urgently from the government a fully costed, fully funded workforce plan for the NHS to tackle severe staff shortages and to recruit and retain people to work in mental health services, to meet the challenges and growing demand they face."