The NHS's approach to tackling children’s mental health is “threatening to overwhelm the social care system”, the president of the Association of Directors of Children’s Services has warned.
Steve Crocker believes the NHS is “not doing a very good job” for children, describing how children are typically now waiting four months for a mental health assessment and over a year for treatment as being “simply not good enough”.
He admitted he was being “deliberately provocative” around children’s mental health at the opening of the ADCS conference yesterday, as he wants to see “more collaboration” from the new Integrated Care Systems (ICSs), which were put on a statutory footing this month.
Mr Crocker warned delegates that under the ICS reforms, there is an “ongoing risk that the needs of children are sidelined by the ongoing pressure in acute adult services”.
“The House of Lords amendment ensuring each ICS has a children’s strategic lead was a welcome development, but does it go far enough?” he asked.
Mr Crocker told LGC: “Children's mental health should be a priority for every ICS in the country. I can't imagine any reason why any ICS would not do that."
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Source: Local Government Chronicle, 8 July 2022