Mental Health Services: Children

Department of Health and Social Care written question – answered on 2nd March 2022.

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Photo of Peter Gibson Peter Gibson Conservative, Darlington

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to reduce the average waiting time for CAMHS appointments.

Photo of Peter Gibson Peter Gibson Conservative, Darlington

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, how many children and adolescents are awaiting CAMHS treatment in the Darlington constituency as of 21 February 2022.

Photo of Peter Gibson Peter Gibson Conservative, Darlington

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to help ensure that children and adolescents in Darlington constituency have access to CAMHS treatment.

Photo of Gillian Keegan Gillian Keegan Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)

We are investing at least an additional £2.3 billion a year in mental health services by 2023/24, to allow approximately 345,000 more children and young people to access National Health Service-funded mental health services each year. On 5 March 2021, we announced an additional £79 million in 2021/22 for children and young people’s mental health services, for approximately 22,500 more children and young people to access community health services, 2,000 more children and young people to access eating disorder services and to accelerate the coverage of mental health support teams, including in Darlington. NHS England and NHS Improvement have also announced a further £40 million in 2021/22 to address the impact of COVID-19 on children and young people’s mental health.

Data on the number of people awaiting treatment from children and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS) is not available as a national access and waiting times standard has not yet been defined. NHS England and NHS Improvement consulted on the definition and introduction of five waiting time standards. The consultation closed on 1 September 2021 and found that more than 80% of respondents agreed or strongly agreed with the proposal to introduce additional mental health access and waiting time measures, including for children and young people presenting to community-based mental health services. The consultation report is available at the following link:

www.england.nhs.uk/2022/02/widespread-support-for-proposed-nhs-mental-health-access-standards-for-patients

We will work with NHS England and NHS Improvement on the next steps for the proposed mental health access and waiting measures.

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