Extra funding call for children’s mental health

Dr Naomi Elton hopes Duchess of Cambridge's backing will lead to increased investment

Extra funding call for children’s mental health
17 February 2015

More funding must be put into mental health services for young people, according to the clinical director of children’s services at Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust.

Dr Naomi Elton has welcomed the Duchess of Cambridge’s backing for Child Mental Health Week, but says the Government must increase the amount of money it is giving to the NHS.

Dr Elton (pictured) said: “I think it’s very positive that the Duchess of Cambridge has shown her support for Child Mental Health Week as she will help to raise awareness and to reduce stigma.

“I am also hopeful this will shine a spotlight on mental health services for children and adolescents and the need for increased investment.

“In recent years we’ve seen the number of young people requiring our services continuing to rise, but the level of funding has remained at a standstill. The gap between demand and capacity is now mismatched.”

CPFT provides children’s community services in Peterborough as well as mental health and specialist learning disability services in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough.

One of the many challenges CPFT staff working with children are facing is the rise in the number of young people who are self-harming.

Figures published by the Health and Social Care Information Centre revealed that 5953 girls aged between 10 and 14 were admitted to hospital for self-harm in England in 2013-2014, up from 3090 in 2009-2010. The number of boys aged 10 to 14 who were admitted to hospital in 2013-14 was 659 compared to 454 in 2009-10.

Dr Elton said: “This is a national issue, but we are seeing it in our area as well. The reasons for the increase are very complex, but we notice how much young people are affected by the economic pressures on their families, the pressure to achieve at school and online bullying.”

The Government is currently reviewing child and adolescent mental health services and the findings of the report are expected next month.

Naomi said: “I am hoping that the review will recommend an 18-week maximum waiting time limit between assessment and treatment. At the moment there are no mandated waiting times in mental health services. But the introduction of an 18-week limit would give mental health the same parity of esteem as acute services.

“At the moment, due to the level of funding we receive, we have waiting times which are far in excess of that. There’s no doubt that 18 weeks would still be far too long, but it would be a step in the right direction.

“It’s my belief that, unless we invest in mental health services for young people now, the human and economic costs of dealing with them when they become adults will be much higher.”


ENDS

For more information please contact:

Andy Burrows
Communications Manager
E andy.burrows@cpft.nhs.uk
T 01223 726767

 

Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust
Elizabeth House, Fulbourn Hospital
Cambridge, CB21 5EF

T 01223 219400 (open 8:30am to 5pm)
F 01480 398501

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