To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to improve access to mental health services for care leavers who are between 18 and 25 years old.
We know that mental health needs are much more prevalent among children in care, which is why NHS England is currently testing models for the use of personal budgets for looked after children, which includes children on the edges of care.
The Department of Health and Social Care and the Department for Education also commissioned the Social Care Institute for Excellence to convene an expert working group to look at improving the mental health and emotional wellbeing of looked after and previously looked after children. A report was published at the end of last year and the Departments are considering the recommendations in the report and how to take them forward.
Transitions from children and young people’s mental health services to adult services can be a difficult time for young people. NHS England has therefore developed a model specification for such transitions and included transition from children and young people’s mental health services as one of 13 mandatory national indicators in the Commissioning for Quality and Innovation scheme (2017/19). This offers financial incentives to local areas to make improvements in support of the Five Year Forward View for Mental Health and NHS mandate and will encourage improved transition planning and better experiences for children and young people.
The joint health and education green paper: ‘Transforming children and young people’s mental health provision’ also included a commitment to set up a new national strategic partnership to support the mental health of 16-25 year olds and encourage more coordinated action and robust evaluation.