Welfare

08.03.18

CQC calls on councils deal with children’s mental health ‘crisis points’

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has criticised local and central government measures on children’s mental health, urging for more cooperation between health and care organisations.

In a new review of the state of children’s care in the UK, the inspectorate said there needs to be more done to deal with “crisis points” in mental health, and to ensure problems are not “undermining their adult life.”

In particular, the CQC suggested that health and social care secretary Jeremy Hunt begins to drive a joint approach to the issues across all of government by developing an inter-ministerial group.

Councils have widely supported the proposals, with the LGA urging central government to make children’s mental health a higher priority.

Cllr Richard Watts, chair of the association’s children and young people board, said: “Action to tackle the crisis in children and young people’s mental health is long overdue and this report reinforces the urgent need to support children and families in desperate need of help.

“We are pleased the government is taking steps to address this, but as this report notes, these measures need to be fast-tracked to protect children and young people from avoidable mental health problems.

“The reality is that all children need support, but they are having to wait 18 months before they receive vital support and guidance, which is clearly unacceptable.”

He went on to call for on-site counselling services in every school, funded by central government and meant to help children so they do not have to be placed on a long waiting list.

In addition to inter-ministerial groups, the CQC put forward a number of key recommendations in its report, including calling on the Department of Health and Social Care, Health Education England and NHS Improvement to improve on examples of person-centred care provided by the NHS and councils.

“Children and young people deserve to have their mental health needs and wellbeing put at the heart of every decision, be that planning, commissioning or resourcing,” explained Dr Paul Lelliott, CQC lead for mental health.

“Currently, this is not the reality everywhere and we heard from too many young people who felt they could only access care at a crisis point because local services are not working together or are not able to work together effectively to support their mental health and wellbeing.”

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