Mental Health Services: Children

Health written question – answered on 12th July 2010.

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Photo of Luciana Berger Luciana Berger Labour, Liverpool, Wavertree

To ask the Secretary of State for Health

(1) what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of child and adolescent mental health services for children who require emergency mental health assessment and support;

(2) how he plans to ensure that tier 4 child and adolescent mental health services appropriate for children with autism are available to all children who require them.

Photo of Paul Burstow Paul Burstow The Minister of State, Department of Health

The Department monitors the availability of 24 hour cover to meet the urgent mental health needs of children and young people through the Vital Signs Monitoring Return. The latest available figures, for the quarter ending 31 March 2010, show 139 primary care trusts (PCTs) with a comprehensive 24 hour cover service available throughout the PCT and 13 PCTs with plans and protocols in place, some services in place and some still to be developed so as to provide cover across the whole PCT. The Department is drawing on findings emerging from early visits of the National Support Team for child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS) to inform local conversations about improving children's emotional health and well-being across the country.

Appropriate tier 4 CAMHS should be available to all children who require them, including children with autism. We are committed to improving the quality of services to patients. We will establish an independent national health service board to allocate resources and provide commissioning guidelines and will ensure that there is a stronger voice for patients locally.

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