Psychiatrists say NHS mental health services are failing young people

Topics covered: Mental Health

A recent survey, conducted by The Guardian, has shown seven in ten psychiatrists consider Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services to be inadequate at best.

253 of about 2,000 specialist psychiatrists working in Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) care took part in the survey, and more than seven out of ten consultant psychiatrists said that NHS care for under-18s experiencing a crisis in their mental health is either inadequate (58%) or very inadequate (14%). Only 19% said NHS services were adequate and just 9% said they were good.

Pressure on mental heath services for children is increasing, with figures from NHS Digital showing that the number of under-18s attending A&E in England due to a mental health crisis has risen by more than half in the past five years.

Peter Hindley, the chair of the Royal College of Psychiatrists’ faculty of child and adolescent psychiatry, which undertook the research, said that these were “worrying findings”.

Jeremy Hunt, the health secretary, said:-

“Every child in crisis should get the support they need, which is why we are investing £1.4bn in children and young people’s mental health care, and why every local area is transforming their services.”

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