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Mental Health Services Under-Resourced ? Yes ! Suicide Prevention Minister And Related Reports Covering The Meltdown - Page 7 - Carers UK Forum

Mental Health Services Under-Resourced ? Yes ! Suicide Prevention Minister And Related Reports Covering The Meltdown

For issues specific to caring for someone with mental ill health.
62 posts
One in four young people with mental health referral " Rejected. "

Data shows NHS rejection rates have remained unchanged despite additional investments.

One in four children and young people referred to mental health services in England last year were not accepted for treatment, according to data, raising concerns that many are still failing to get vital support at an early stage.

Research by the Education Policy Institute (EPI) estimated that more than 130,000 of those referred to specialist services in 2018-19 were “rejected”, among them young people who have self-harmed, suffered eating disorders and experienced abuse.

According to the EPI, rejection rates have remained unchanged over the last four years, despite government commitments to address shortages in child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS), including an additional £1.4bn investment between 2015 and 2021.

The research also revealed significant regional variations, with services in London rejecting 17% of referrals on average, compared with 28% in the south, the Midlands and the east, and 22% in the north.

Providers said treatment was not given mainly because children’s conditions were not suitable, or were not serious enough to meet the threshold. The average median waiting time to begin treatment has fallen by 11 days since 2015, but children still had to wait an average of two months.

David Laws, EPI’s executive chairman, lamented the lack of progress. “Young people continue to be deprived of access to specialist mental health treatment, despite the government claiming significant investment in mental health services over the past five years.

“Progress in improving access over this period has been hugely disappointing, and it is unacceptable that as many as one in four children referred to mental health services are being turned away.”

The EPI report is based on data collected via freedom of information requests to more than 60 mental health service providers. NHS England said the EPI’s analysis was “flawed” and it was wrong to assume that every referral should result in NHS treatment, when more appropriate support might be provided elsewhere, for example from schools and local authorities.

“The NHS is actually ahead of its target on ensuring as many children as possible receive mental health care – seeing an extra 53,000 children, teenagers and young adults last year, a 14% increase on the year before and 22% more staff in services than five years ago, against a backdrop of rising referrals,” an NHS spokesperson said.

Teachers’ leaders warned that schools were struggling to fill the gap. Geoff Barton, general secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, said: “This report confirms what schools know only too well – that thresholds for children’s mental health services are often too high and waiting lists too long.

“It is an appalling postcode lottery which leaves schools struggling to secure the specialist help needed by young people suffering from serious mental health illnesses.”

The mental health charity Mind said something clearly was not working when thousands of vulnerable young people were still being turned down for treatment. “It is deeply concerning that a staggering 133,000 young people are not getting help for serious mental health problems,” said Vicki Nash, head of policy and campaigns.

“Whatever your age, if you have self-harmed, experienced abuse, or have a mental health problem like an eating disorder, you deserve support. Extra money outlined in the NHS Long Term Plan is welcome, to tackle decades of underfunding, but it can’t reach the frontline soon enough.”

Worst performing mental health trust NSFT " Still has a way to go. "

A mental health trust dubbed England's worst will remain in special measures despite showing improvements in care.

The Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust (NSFT) provides mental health and learning disability services.

Inspectors from the Care Quality Commission (CQC) found the trust required improvement in four areas, but rated it "good" for its caring staff.

Chief executive Jonathan Warren, who took up the job in April last year, admitted it "still has a way to go".

NSFT was branded the worst-performing mental health trust in England after it was rated "inadequate" three times by the CQC in recent years.

It has been the only mental health trust in the country to have been placed in special measures, a step first taken in February 2015.

Inspectors visited the trust between 7 October and 6 November.

Chief Inspector of Hospitals, Prof Ted Baker, said there had been a "shift in approach" after concerns over safety, culture and leadership.

"Most staff felt more listened to, empowered and believed the trust is moving forwards," he said.

"We saw early improvements in almost all areas and a feeling of optimism from all staff, but there had not been enough time to judge if these changes would be sustained."

" Under no illusions "

Twenty-two areas out of 44 had improved, the report said, with the young people's psychiatric service - the Dragonfly Unit - ranked "outstanding".

However, waiting lists remained high in the specialist children and young people community mental health teams, and "poor communication" was a key feature of patient feedback, it said.

CQC inspections rate trusts on five areas - safety, effectiveness, caring, leadership and responsiveness to people's needs.

Mr Warren said: "This is a move in the right direction and is down to the hard work and dedication of staff.

"However, we are under no illusions and recognise that the next 12 months and beyond are crucial.

"Our ambition remains to deliver high quality and effective services for our patients and be in the top quarter of mental health trusts nationally for quality and safety by 2023."
62 posts