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Pulse: Two-thirds of GP referrals for child mental health lead to no treatment

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Caroline Price of Pulse reports:

Figures obtained from 15 mental health trusts reveal that 60% of GP referrals to child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS) lead to no treatment and a third are not even assessed.

The situation for young people with mental health issues appears to be worsening, with the numbers of referrals that progress to treatment decreasing from 44% in 2013 to 39% in 2015.

The freedom of information requests to mental health trusts found that in Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust the number of CAMHS referrals progressing to treatment was 20%, down from 46% in 2013.

Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust (NSFT) is the worst performing trust in the country in the Pulse survey, with the number of children and young people receiving treatment plummeting to half of the national average. Only one in five CAMHS referrals received treatment, down from just under half only two years earlier.

We’ve been warning about the devastating impact of the cuts to CAMHS in Norfolk and Suffolk for more than two years.

In March 2014, we wrote that:

Sadly, but unsurprisingly:

  • Norfolk & Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust (NSFT) is the trust with the biggest cut in budget for CAMHS in the entire country in the latest national benchmarking – a cut of three times the national average
  • NSFT is the second worst performing trust in the entire country for CAMHS re-referrals – again three times the national average
  • NSFT has the highest number of formal CAMHS complaints in the country
  • NSFT has the third highest number of incidents of actual physical violence to CAMHS patients in the country
  • NSFT has the second highest number of incidents of actual physical violence to staff – six times the national average
  • NSFT is the worst, and seven times the national average, for incidents of use of restraint
  • NSFT came out as the fifth worst Trust of the 51 who responded to a BBC Freedom of Information Request about the number of children across the country being admitted to adult mental health units. In 2011, NSFT sent 13 under 18s to an adult mental health unit, rising to 16 for both 2012 and 2013.

Astonishingly, according to the Pulse survey, matters have become even worse at NSFT: the proportion of CAMHS referrals receiving treatment has fallen by 57 per cent since 2013.

Click on the image below to read the article in full on the Pulse website:

Pulse Two-thirds of GP referrals for child mental health lead to no treatment

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