Review of children and younger people’s mental health care services to take place

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  • Council and health commissioners want to provide one-stop shop help
  • Also want targets set for children to be seen quickly
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A MAJOR review into mental health care for children and young people is to be held.

The doctor-led Portsmouth Clinical Commissioning Group and Portsmouth City council are to assess the services – and how they might be improved.

Early intervention is essential, and we recognise there are children and young people with mental health and emotional difficulties who just do not receive timely, high quality and accessible services

Dr Linda Collie, lead on young people’s mental health service

It comes in response to the government setting up the Children and Young People’s Mental Health and Wellbeing Taskforce, which looked at how services are organised, commissioned and provided.

Its findings – published in the Future in Mind report – found there needed to be more work done to promote, protect and improve children and young people’s mental health and wellbeing.

Portsmouth may potentially receive around £2m of new government funding to finance this move.

Dr Linda Collie, the CCG’s lead doctor on young people’s mental health services, said: ‘We need to review where we think we are with mental health service provision for children in the city – and where we would like to be in five years’ time.

‘I think Portsmouth has been much more fortunate than many big towns or cities in terms of the services and help it has available for young people. But we will be asking people for their views on current service provision – both good and less good – so we can consider where changes may need to be made.

‘The consequences of untreated mental health problems early in life can be long-lasting and far-reaching for young people, who deserve the best help and support we can give them.

‘Early intervention is essential, and we recognise there are children and young people with mental health and emotional difficulties who just do not receive timely, high quality and accessible services. That is clearly the place we want to get to – and as quickly as we can.’

The first stage of the new programme will be to target community-based eating disorder services.

The council and CCG said they are aiming to ensure 95 per cent of children and young people are seen within four weeks of being known to have a problem, or one week for urgent cases, by 2020.

Councillor Neill Young, cabinet member for children and education, said: ‘We need to make it as easy as possible for young people, parents, carers to access help and support when it is needed and to improve how children and young people’s mental health services are organised, commissioned and provided.

‘The Future In Mind report makes a number of proposals which include improving access for those children and young people who are particularly vulnerable, introducing more access and waiting time standards for services and establishing “one-stop shop” support services in the community.

‘The Integrated Commissioning Service, working on behalf of the city council and the CCG, is drawing up a transformation plan for Portsmouth.

‘It will be working closely with schools, voluntary organisations, children, young people and their families to review the services.’