Community Network survey on waiting times in children and young people's services
The Community Network, hosted by NHS Providers and NHS Confederation, has published the findings of a survey looking at long waits in children and young people's community services. The briefing highlights the scale of the challenge, the impact long waits have on children and young people, their families, and staff morale, as well as outlining some core asks for national and local policy makers.
The network carried out this survey of 65 community provider leaders between 15 March and 21 April 2023. Some of the survey's key findings show:
- All respondents (100%) were either moderately (23%) or extremely (77%) concerned about the impact of long waits for community children and young people's services.
- Almost three quarters (72%) of respondents were extremely concerned about the impact of long waits for community children and young people's services on staff morale.
- Almost nine in 10 respondents (88%) reported that current waiting times for children and young people to access initial assessment and treatment for community services have increased either significantly (48%) or moderately (39%) compared to pre-pandemic figures.
Although this survey is focused on waiting times for community services, it is worth noting that demand and waits for children and adolescent mental health services have also increased significantly since the pandemic, as has pressure on acute, specialist paediatric beds.
Without recognition of these challenges and nationally co-ordinated action children in need of support risk slipping through the net.