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Found 58 results
  1. News Article
    Almost 70,000 children are missing out on mental health care they should be eligible to receive as the NHS falls short of key targets, The Independent has revealed. An internal analysis, seen by The Independent, shows in England the NHS has fallen short of a target, set in 2019, for 818,000 children to receive at least one treatment session from Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) in 2023. The actual number of children who received treatment in the 12 months to December was 749,833, falling short of the target by around 9%. The figures came as the government announced this week it would expand the number of early access mental health hubs for children to cover 50% of the country by 2025. However, campaigners urged ministers to commit to covering the entire country to help “turn the tide on the crisis” in children’s mental health services. The NHS analysis shows, as of December, CAMHS in the South West was furthest away from its targets with 78% of children seen out of those eligible. In London, 80% of the target was achieved and in the North West 105%. Laura Bunt, chief executive at YoungMinds, said: “Referrals to mental health services are at a record high with more young people than ever in need of support with their mental health. We know that many young people are struggling in the aftermath of the pandemic, facing intense academic pressure to catch up on lost learning, a cost of living crisis and increasing global instability. “Every young person should be able to access mental health support when they need it, but too many don’t get it until things get much worse. Services continue to be significantly underfunded and the number of young people receiving treatment falls woefully short of what is needed. To turn the tide on this crisis, the government must prioritise young people and their mental health by investing in prevention and early intervention.” Read full story Source: The Independent, 2 March 2024
  2. Content Article
    Social prescribing can be life changing for many children and young people, allowing them to have a voice about what matters to them, access the things they enjoy and can give them a route to achieve their ambitions. The greater choice and control that social prescribing brings also empowers them to make positive decisions, build confidence and increase self-esteem. This toolkit has been developed collaboratively by the charity StreetGames, the South West Integrated Personalised Care Team and other key partners across the UK. It is a guide to developing, implementing and delivering high quality social prescribing for children and young people. It provides a framework to help providers assess what is needed and examples of what others have achieved through social prescribing, and how. It also demonstrates how partnership working allows organisations to achieve more and support young people to have truly great lives.
  3. Content Article
    Solving Together is a partnership that enables people with different ideas and views to put forward solutions and experiences. From Monday 9 October to Friday 3 November 2023, Solving Together is hosting a series of conversations on Children and Young People’s Mental Health that aim to get ideas on how access and waiting times for community services could be improved. The conversation topics are: Reducing inequalities in access, experience and outcomes Prevention and early intervention Experience of services Transfer of care and wider support
  4. News Article
    A London coroner has warned the health secretary that preventable child suicides are likely to increase unless the government provides more funding for mental health services. Nadia Persaud, the east London area coroner, told Steve Barclay that the suicide of Allison Aules, 12, in July 2022 highlighted the risk of similar deaths “unless action is taken”. In a damning prevention of future deaths report addressed to Barclay, NHS England and two royal colleges, Persaud said the “under-resourcing of CAMHS [child and adolescent mental health services] contributed to delays in Allison being assessed by the mental health team”. An inquest into Allison’s death last month found that a series of failures by North East London NHS foundation trust (NELFT) contributed to her death. In her report, Persaud said delays and errors that emerged in the inquest exposed wider concerns about funding and recruitment problems in mental health services. “The failings occurred with a children and adolescent mental health service which was significantly under-resourced. Under-resourcing of CAMHS services is not confined to this local trust but is a matter of national concern,” she said. Read full story Source: The Guardian, 14 September 2023
  5. Content Article
    CQC's completed programme, which started in 2014, of comprehensive inspections of all specialist mental health services in England.
  6. Content Article
    On 3 August 2022 an investigation was carried out into the death of Allison Vivian Jacome Aules. Allison was 12 years old when she passed away on the 19 July 2022. The investigation concluded at the end of the inquest on the 17 August 2023. The conclusion was that Allison died as a result of suicide, contributed to by neglect.
  7. News Article
    Children and young people who are anxious, depressed or are self-harming are being denied help from swamped NHS child and adolescent mental health services, GPs have revealed. Even under-18s with an eating disorder or psychosis are being refused care by overstretched CAMHS services, which insist that they are not sick enough to warrant treatment. In one case, a crisis CAMHS team in Wales would not immediately assess the mental health of an actively suicidal child who had been stopped from jumping off a building earlier the same day unless the GP made a written referral. In another, a CAMHS service in eastern England declined to take on a 12-year-old boy found with a ligature in his room because the lack of any marks on his neck meant its referral criteria had not been met. The shocking state of CAMHS care is laid bare in a survey for the youth mental health charity stem4 of 1,001 GPs across the UK who have sought urgent help for under-18s who are struggling mentally. CAMHS teams, already unable to cope with the rising need for treatment before Covid struck, have become even more overloaded because of the pandemic’s impact on youth mental health. Mental health experts say young people’s widespread inability to access CAMHS care is leading to their already fragile mental health deteriorating even further and then self-harming, dropping out of school, feeling uncared for and having to seek help at A&E. “As a clinician it is particularly worrying that children and young people with psychosis, eating disorders and even those who have just tried to take their own life are condemned to such long waits”, said Dr Nihara Krause, a consultant clinical psychologist who specialises in treating children and young people and who is the founder of stem4. “It is truly shocking to learn from this survey of GPs’ experiences of dealing with CAMHS services that so many vulnerable young people in desperate need of urgent help with their mental health are being forced to wait for so long – up to two years – for care they need immediately. Read full story Source: The Guardian, 3 April 2022
  8. News Article
    The death of a "vulnerable" transgender teenager who struggled to get help was preventable, a coroner has said. Daniel France, 17, was known to Cambridgeshire County Council and Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Foundation Trust (CPFT) when he took his own life on 3 April 2020. The coroner said his death showed a "dangerous gap" between services. When he died, Mr France was in the process of being transferred from children and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS) in Suffolk to adult services in Cambridgeshire. The First Response Service, which provides help for people experiencing a mental health crisis, also assessed Mr France but he had been considered not in need of urgent intervention, the coroner's report said. Cambridgeshire County Council had received two safeguarding referrals for Daniel, in October 2019 and January 2020, but had closed both. "It was accepted that the decision to close both referrals was incorrect", Mr Barlow said in his report. Mr Barlow wrote in his report, sent to both the council and CPFT: "My concern in this case is that a vulnerable young person can be known to the county council and [the] mental health trust and yet not receive the support they need pending substantive treatment." He highlighted Daniel was "repeatedly assessed as not meeting the criteria for urgent intervention" but that waiting lists for phycological therapy could mean more than a year between asking for help and being given it. "That gap between urgent and non-urgent services is potentially dangerous for a vulnerable young person, where there is a chronic risk of an impulsive act," Mr Barlow said. Read full story Source: BBC News, 25 February 2022
  9. News Article
    Children with suspected ADHD and autism are waiting as long as seven years for treatment on the NHS, as the health service struggles to manage a surge in demand during a crisis in child mental health. Experts said “inhumane” waits are putting a generation of neurodiverse children at risk of mental illness as they are “pushed to the back of a very long queue” for children and adolescent mental health services (Camhs). UK children with suspected neurodevelopmental conditions faced an average waiting time of one year and four months for an initial screening in 2022, more than three times longer than the average wait for all Camhs services, according to research carried out by the House magazine and shared with the Guardian. Half of all trusts responding to a freedom of information request had an average wait of at least a year, and at one-sixth of trusts it was more than two years. The NICE guidance for autism and mental health services stipulates that no one should wait longer than 13 weeks between being referred and first being seen. Read full story Source: The Guardian, 17 July 2023 Related reading on the hub: Long waits for ADHD diagnosis and treatment are a patient safety issue
  10. News Article
    A coroner has expressed concern at the difficulty of getting face-to-face appointments with GPs and other health professionals after a 17-year-old boy suffering from mental health problems was found dead. Sean Mark, who described himself as an “anxious paranoid mess”, was desperate for help but felt “palmed off” when he asked for assistance, an inquest heard. He was found dead in his bedroom four months after a phone consultation with a GP and before he had spoken to anyone in person about his concerns. The area coroner, Rosamund Rhodes-Kemp, recorded a verdict of death by misadventure, saying she could not be sure Sean had intended to kill himself. Dr Robin Harlow, clinical director of the Willow Group, where Sean Mark was a patient, said it had increased the number of face-to-face meetings. When told that Sean felt palmed off, he said: “I would want him to be seen face to face at the second time, if not the first time. We have seen a lot more face-to-face appointments since then.” Read full story Source: The Guardian (23 August 2022)
  11. News Article
    Deaths, staff shortages and a culture of life-threatening self-harm are exposing deep fears about the quality of mental health care in hospitals for children and young people. Since 2019, at least 20 patients aged 18 or under have died in NHS or privately-run units, the BBC has found. A further 26 have died within a year of leaving units, amid claims of a lack of ongoing community support. The NHS said it had "invested record amounts... to meet record demand". Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) units look after about 4,000 patients with many different diagnoses each year. The aim is to help them recover over a period of weeks or months through specialist care. Some patients are in and out of the units for years. The BBC has also heard serious claims regarding the unsafe discharge of patients sent home from CAMHS hospitals. Several former patients told the BBC they had serious self-harm incidents or tried to take their own life within days of returning home. Parents have described being on "suicide watch" 24 hours a day, to ensure their child's safety. Read full story Source: BBC News, 9 August 2022
  12. News Article
    Hundreds of children suffering from mental health issues are attending A&E each day, with some waiting up to five days in emergency departments, The Independent can reveal. Internal NHS data leaked to The Independent, shows the number of young patients waiting more than 12 hours from arrival has also more than doubled in the last year. A national survey of senior A&E doctors by the Royal College of Emergency Medicine (RCEM) found in some areas children’s mental health services have worsened in the last three years, while the majority of respondents warned there were no children’s crisis services open after 5pm. One NHS trust chief executive has warned his hospital’s A&Es have seen a “real surge” in both attendances of people with severe mental health issues and a sharp increase in long waits in recent months. One parent, Lee Pickwell, told The Independent his daughter was admitted to paediatric wards several times and stayed days in an emergency “section 136” unit while she waited more than two months for a mental health bed. Dr Mark Buchanan, RCEM’s lead for children’s mental health, told The Independent that despite improvements, children’s mental health services still fall short of what is needed. Dr Buchanan said: “I’ve seen children who have been not seen by Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS), who been refused the referrals, despite the fact that the mum and dad were taking it in turns to sleep outside their bedroom door because they were scared that they’d run away and do some harm.” Read full story Source: The Independent, 13 July 2022
  13. News Article
    The mothers of two teenage boys who died after failures in their care have called on the government to make "urgent improvements" to how children with disabilities are assessed. Sammy Alban-Stanley, 13, and 14-year-old Oskar Nash both died in 2020. Inquests for both boys recorded they had received inadequate care from local authorities and mental health services. The calls were made in an open letter to the secretaries of state for health and social care, and education. Patricia Alban and Natalia Nash asked Sajid Javid and Nadim Zahawi to make fundamental changes to several care areas to prevent future deaths. The pair said they both experienced problems with support for disabled children and families. Services lacked understanding of neurological conditions like autism, they said. The pair also pointed to a lack of access to children and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS), and failure to assess or review the severity of a child's developing needs. Read full story Source: BBC News, 16 June 2022
  14. News Article
    A mother who has seen her suicidal 12-year-old daughter shuttled between placements and then held in a locked and windowless hospital room says she is frightened for her child’s life. Since going into care in Staffordshire nine months ago, Becky (not her real name) has attempted to take her own life on several occasions. Her case throws fresh light on the chronic nationwide shortage of secure accommodation for vulnerable children. “I am constantly told there is nowhere for her,” said her mother, who cannot be identified for legal reasons. “I fear I’ll soon be arranging her funeral due to the systemic failings in health and social care.” Becky has been alone in a locked hospital room since 27 January. The room has no window or access to the outdoors, no furniture except for a bed, and she is permitted no belongings. All human contact is conducted through a hatch. The child’s court-appointed guardian told the high court at a hearing to discuss Becky’s case that she considered “the risk to Becky’s life to be catastrophic”. Read full story Source: The Guardian, 7 February 2023
  15. News Article
    A quarter of a million children in the UK with mental health problems have been denied help by the NHS as it struggles to manage surging case loads against a backdrop of a crisis in child mental health. Some NHS trusts are failing to offer treatment to 60% of those referred by GPs, the research based on freedom of information request responses has found. The research carried out by the House magazine and shared with the Guardian also revealed a postcode lottery, with spending per child four times higher in some parts of the country than others, while average waits for a first appointment vary by trust from 10 days to three years. Olly Parker, head of external affairs at YoungMinds, said the freedom of information findings showed a “system is in total shutdown” with “no clear government plan to rescue it”, after the 10-year mental health plan was scrapped. “In the meantime, young people are self-harming and attempting suicide as they wait months and even years for help after being referred by doctors,” he said. “This is not children saying ‘I’m unhappy.’ They are ill, they are desperate and they need urgent help.” Read full story Source: The Guardian, 16 April 2023
  16. News Article
    A single children’s mental health hospital with just 59 beds reported more than 1,600 “sexual safety incidents” in four years, shocking NHS figures reveal. Huntercombe Hospital in Maidenhead was responsible for more than half of the sex investigations reported in the 209 children’s mental health units across the country. Despite warnings at a rate of more than one a day to the health service since 2019, no action was taken to stop vulnerable NHS patients being sent to the scandal-hit unit as a result of the 1,643 sexual incident reports. The private unit is now finally due to be closed after an investigation by The Independent revealed allegations of verbal and physical abuse, prompting the NHS to withdraw patients. The hospital since said it plans to reopen as an adult unit. Figures obtained from the NHS show Huntercombe’s Maidenhead unit, Taplow Manor, was behind 57% of the 2,875 reported sexual incidents and assaults reported at England’s child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS) over the past four years. Reported incidents can range from sexually inappropriate language to serious sexual assault and rape. Read full story Source: The Independent, 11 April 2023
  17. News Article
    A scandal-hit children’s mental health hospital set to close after an investigation uncovered allegations of severe abuse could reopen within months due to a legal loophole, it can be revealed. Taplow Manor hospital, in Maidenhead, will shut in May after the Independent exposed claims of “systemic abuse” and poor care from more than 50 former patients. Police are currently carrying out two investigations into the hospital–one into a patient death and a second into the alleged rape of a child involving staff. Active Care Group, which runs the hospital, announced last week that would close but in letters sent to staff since then, it said it was looking to retrain them with plans to “reopen as an adult acute service” in a matter of months. A loophole in the regulations means that there is nothing to stop healthcare providers from applying to the watchdog, the Care Quality Commission, to reopen, even if serious concerns have been raised about the closed operation. Read full story Source: Independent, 4 April 2023
  18. Content Article
    Young people and expert mental healthcare staff say patients are unlikely to receive in-patient mental health care unless they “have attempted suicide multiple times”, according to a new report published by Look Ahead Care and Support. Launched in the House of Lords, the report – funded by Wates Family Enterprise Trust and produced by experts Care Research – argues Accident and Emergency departments have become an ‘accidental hub’ for children and young people experiencing crisis but are ill-equipped to offer the treatment required.   Based on in-depth interviews with service users, parents and carers, and NHS and social care staff from across England, the findings from the Look Ahead Care and Support report draws on experience of treating depression, anxiety, self-harm, suicidal thoughts and suicide attempts, eating disorders, addiction and psychosis.  
  19. Content Article
    Core20PLUS5 is NHS England's approach to reducing health inequalities at both national and system level. The approach defines a target population cohort and identifies five focus clinical areas that require accelerated improvement. This infographic outlines the specific Core20PLUS5 approach to reducing health inequalities for children and young people.
  20. News Article
    The mother of a bullied 12-year-old girl has said her daughter struggled to get mental health support on the NHS in the months before she killed herself, and accused her school of failing to deal with inappropriate messages circulating among pupils. The mother of Charley-Ann Patterson, Jamie, told a hearing that despite being seen by three medical professionals, Charley-Ann had been unable to get mental health support in the months before her death. In a statement read at an inquest at Northumberland coroner’s court on 12 October, Jamie said her daughter had changed halfway through her first year of secondary school, when she was sent “inappropriate” and “shocking” messages by other pupils. The inquest heard that Jamie first took her daughter to a GP over self-harm concerns in June 2019, but she said she “did not believe that the GP took Charley-Ann’s self-harm seriously, potentially due to her age”. She took Charley-Ann to A&E in May 2020 after a second episode of self-harm, where she was referred to a psychiatric team and given a telephone appointment in which she was told Charley-Ann would be referred to child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS), but that “it was likely that she would not be seen for three years”. In an appointment with a nurse she was told that she would be referred to the Northumberland mental health hub for low mood and anxiety, but later learned “that this referral was never made”. Read full story Source: The Guardian, 12 October 2022
  21. Content Article
    Samuel Howes was 17 when he died by suicide in September 2020. Samuel had ongoing mental health issues including anxiety and depression. This led to his use of drugs and dependency on alcohol, which in turn further worsened his mental health. This blog by his mother Suzanne details her experience of the final day of the inquest into her son's death, which found multiple failings on the part of Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS), social services and the police.
  22. Content Article
    Niche Health and Social Care Consulting (Niche) were commissioned by NHS England in November 2019 to undertake an independent investigation into the governance at West Lane Hospital (WLH), Middlesbrough between 2017 up to the hospital closure in 2019. WLH was provided by Tees, Esk and Wear Valleys NHS Foundation Trust (TEWV) and delivered Tier 4 child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS) inpatient services. This review initially incorporated the care and treatment review findings of two index case events for Christie and Nadia who both died following catastrophic self-ligature at the unit. The Trust subsequently agreed to include the findings of the care and treatment review of Emily which related directly to her time at West Lane Hospital, even though Emily did not die at this site. This is to ensure that optimal learning could be achieved from this review. 
  23. Content Article
    This blog by the Centre for Mental Health looks at data about young people's mental health in 2022 from NHS Digital, highlighting the urgent need for effective mental health services and support for young people. It looks at what needs to change to improve the picture for young people's mental health including addressing child poverty, implementing whole school and college approaches and investing in early intervention support.
  24. News Article
    Over the past few months, we have been living in unprecedented and uncertain times as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. Lockdown measures, school closures and social distancing have all had a substantial impact on the way we live our lives. But, what have been the experiences of children, young people and their families during this time? And how has children’s well-being been affected? Our well-being research Every year we (The Children's Society) measure the well-being of children in the UK through a regular survey, with the findings presented in our Good Childhood Report. This research has shown how, since 2009, children’s well-being in this country has been in decline. In our 2020 survey, we included a number of questions to gauge the impact of Covid-19 and the resulting social distancing/lockdown measures on children’s lives. The survey was completed between April and June, when the UK was in lockdown. Our latest briefing, Life on Hold, brings together the findings of these survey questions about Covid-19, together with children’s own accounts. Read the full article and findings here.
  25. News Article
    The new executive must act urgently if it is to "divert the current mental health epidemic among young people", Northern Ireland's children's commissioner has said. Koulla Yiasouma said progress in implementing recommendations in a report on children and young people's mental health services, produced 12 months ago, had been "too slow". The stark read captured the scale of youth mental health problems in Northern Ireland. The report found that young people are waiting too long to ask for help and even longer to access the right support. Health Minister Robin Swann said his aim was that young people do not wait longer than nine weeks to see a CAMHS (child and adolescent mental health services) professional."I take the mental health and wellbeing of our children and young people very seriously and I am committed to working with my colleagues in a new executive working group on mental well-being, resilience and suicide prevention," he said. Read full story Source: 6 February 2020
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