Support the #Respect4SocialWork campaign today and celebrate the social work profession.
Make an Enquiry
Contact Us

Longfield: Rate of progress in CAMHS is not good enough

The current rate of progress in CAMHS is still not good enough for the majority of children who require help but are not receiving it, Anne Longfield, the Children’s Commissioner for England has said.

Anne Longfield, the Children’s Commissioner for England, said: “I welcome the progress that is being made in some parts of the country and pay tribute to hardworking NHS staff who are delivering improvements to the system. I am pleased to see an increase in workforce and the numbers of children seen by CAMHS. However, there is still a vast gap between what is provided for children suffering from mental health problems and what is needed to treat them. The current rate of progress is still not good enough for the majority of children who require help."

The briefing finds that Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services are improving in most areas in the country, yet with the exception of eating disorder services, the provision of services in the youth justice system and in perinatal mental health care, the rate of progress is slow.

Of more than 338,000 children referred to CAMHS last year, less than a third (31%) received treatment within the year.

The analysis also found:

Another 37% were not accepted into treatment or discharged after an assessment appointment, and 32% were still on waiting lists at the end of the year.

Less than 3% of children in England accessed CAMHS last year, a small fraction of those who need help. This is partly because many children who seek help are not accepted into treatment, but also because many children do not know they have a problem or do not seek help.

Of those children who did enter treatment, around half did so within six weeks.

However, nearly 80% of children entering eating disorders treatment are seen within four weeks.

Furthermore, most areas are increasing funding for CAMHS, but parity with spending on adult mental health services remains a distant prospect. Nearly fifteen times as much is spent on adult mental health as on child mental health. In cash terms this means children’s mental health services require an additional £1.7bn a year to achieve equivalent funding to that provided to adult mental health.

Some areas are already far exceeding the existing NHS target to be treating a third of children with significant need (based on 2004 levels of prevalence) by 2021. Yet for every area exceeding what NHS England expects of them, there is an area failing to deliver.

The report does show areas of progress. In the last two years the NHS has delivered 70 new community eating disorder services for children, with a waiting time standard of one week for urgent referrals and four weeks for routine. There have also been welcome improvements in mental health care support in the youth justice system and in perinatal mental health.

Top performing Clinical Commissioning Groups are South Tees; Hartlepool and Stockton-on-Tees; Durham Dales, Easington and Sedgefield; Darlington; and Thanet, according to a comparison of the performance of CCGs.

Using a range of indicators, the research suggests Ealing CCG to be the worst performing area, closely followed by Hounslow, Hammersmith and Fulham, Harrow and Hillingdon. In Ealing, over half of the children referred to CAMHS are not admitted for treatment after first assessment and those who do receive retreatment wait on average nearly three months. Other areas with poorly performing CCGs include Leeds, Sheffield, Nottingham, Bristol, Bradford and Leicester.

Anne Longfield said: “I want to see the government and NHS England dramatically increasing the level of ambition for children’s mental health services. The NHS 10-year plan needs to set out a vision for children’s mental health with clear targets and timetables. By 2023, the NHS should be in a position to ensure no child who needs help is turned away. There also needs to be a focus on early help. An NHS-funded counsellor in every school, providing a service that is accessible and child-friendly, would be transformative.

“All of this will require funding and leadership, but the prize is worth pursuing, and the NHS 10-year plan is the time to do it. We must not let this chance pass," she concluded.

Children's mental health briefing

Knowledge & Resources

Keep abreast of the latest news in the children's services sector.

Reliance on agency staff in Star Hobson authority highlights capacity issues in social work

29/06/2022

The “reliance on agency social workers” in the local authority responsible for safeguarding Star Hobson highlights capacity issues in the social work profession, the Chair of the Child Safeguarding Practice Review Panel has warned.

Star Hobson

Addressing the education select committee, Annie Hudson – who last month published Child Protection in England into the [...]

Read Full Story

Unaccompanied children included in Homes for Ukraine scheme

28/06/2022

Applications for unaccompanied children from Ukraine are starting to be processed under the Homes for Ukraine scheme, the government has announced.

The Homes for Ukraine scheme will allow children and minors under the age of 18 who have already applied through the Homes for Ukraine Scheme to come to the UK without a parent or [...]

Read Full Story

Ofsted consults on introducing a judgement in inspections on progress for care leavers

28/06/2022

Ofsted has launched a consultation on proposals to include a new judgement on the experiences and progress of care leavers in the local authority children’s services (ILACS) inspection framework.

The inspectorate proposes to:

•             Introduce a separate new judgement within ILACS: “The experience and progress of care leavers.”

•             Review and update the existing evaluation criteria to [...]

Read Full Story
Children First is an online resource for professionals working with children presented by WillisPalmer, providing you with the latest news, features and interviews.
Subscribe Today
WP Quality Assured

A Mackman Group collaboration - market research by Mackman Research | website design by Mackman

linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram