Health Select Committee Report: A Significant Increase in Both Demand for Services and in Self Harm, Complexity and Severity

The Health Select Committee has published a report released yesterday claiming serious and deeply ingrained problems in children’s and adolescents’ mental health services.

The committee, appointed by the House of Commons to examine healthcare, examined the mental health service being provided to children and adolescents. It found issues throughout the mental health system, from early intervention stages to inpatient services.

The report highlights:

  • Early intervention services are invaluable and prevent the need for further treatment later on, however they are having their funding cut or are suffering unstable funding.
  • Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) have the power to determine their own priorities but are not giving enough provision to young people; and have frozen or cut their budgets, despite the rising demand for them.

The report goes on to explain in section 9 that;

9. The Chief Medical Officer’s annual report for 2012, published last autumn, highlighted the need for a repeat of the ONS survey; it also cited other evidence suggesting a rise in levels of psychological distress in young people, and in particular increasing rates of self-harm:

Self-harm rates have increased sharply over the past decade, as evidenced by rates of hospital admission and calls to helplines, providing further indications of a possible rise in mental health problems among young people. However, in the absence of up to date epidemiological data, it is uncertain whether there has been a rise in the rates of mental health problems and whether the profile of problems has changed

However in section 12;

12. Observations from CAMHS service providers strongly suggest that they are now operating in a considerably changed environment from the 2004 prevalence data, with many reporting dramatic increases in demand for their services:

Demand continues to increase – 89% of respondents said there had been an increase in referrals over the last 2 years; percentages ranged from 20-70%. Many respondents noted a change in the mix of referrals seeing an increase in self-harm, complexity and severity.

Partnerships are reporting rising numbers of both routine and emergency presentations. Partnerships suggest an average increase of 25% in referrals to CAMHS tiers 2/3 since 2012, possibly due in part to the impact of regional and local cuts on community based services and third sector services.

For the full report click on the link below;

http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201415/cmselect/cmhealth/342/34205.htm#a10

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