Hospital Dr News

Young people still facing problems accessing mental health support from the NHS

Too many children and young people face difficulties in accessing appropriate support for their mental health concerns from a system that is fragmented and where services vary in quality.

That’s the conclusion of the CQC in the first phase of a Government-commissioned review into mental health services for young people.

It cites a Public Health England report that says only 25% of children and young people with a diagnosable mental health condition accessed support.

The CQC has rated 39% (26 services) of specialist community child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS) as requires improvement and 2% (1 service) as inadequate against CQC’s ‘responsive’ key question, which looks at whether people access care and treatment in a timely way.

The report confirms many of the issues raised in the Five Year Forward View for Mental Health published in 2016.

During phase two of the thematic review, CQC will undertake fieldwork to identify what helps local services to achieve, or hinders them from achieving, improvements in the quality of services as set out in the Five Year Forward View for Mental Health.

The problem of gaining access to specialist help is contributed to and compounded by the fact that those who work with children and young people (in schools, GP practices and A&E, for example) do not always have the skills or capacity to identify or support the mental health needs of children and young people.

When concerns are identified, people often struggle to navigate the complicated and fractured system of services created by a lack of joined-up working.

When young people are able to access specialist services, they can often expect to receive good quality care. CQC has rated 59% of specialist community services as good and 9% as outstanding, and 73% of specialist inpatient services as good and 7% as outstanding.

There is, however, considerable variation in the quality of care between specialist CAMHS services.

Dr Paul Lelliott, Deputy Chief Inspector (lead for Mental Health) said: “The Five Year Forward View for Mental Health sets out plans to improve access to high quality care close to home and more money has been allocated to develop these vital services.

“The complexity and fragmentation of the system is an obstacle that must be overcome if this new investment is to result in better services to meet the mental health needs of children and young people.”

Dr Andrew Molodynski, national mental health lead, BMA consultants’ committee, said: “Everyone is agreed on the importance of improving mental health services for children and young people and progress has been made but there is much more to do to ensure we can provide timely access to the best possible care for all young people.”

Read the report.

Bookmark and Share

Post a Comment

Enter this security code

Submit Comment for Moderation