Caroline Price of Pulse reports:
A whole generation of children is being failed by mental health services, say GPs who struggle to access specialist help for their patients.
Seven out of the 15 trusts showed marked reductions. For example, at Leeds and York Partnership NHS Foundation Trust the proportion treated fell from 42% to 26%, and at Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust it fell from 46% to 20%.
The figures suggest the care of children with mental health problems is much worse than experts had thought. A report last year by the children’s charity NSPCC found that four out of five children referred to child mental health services – including those referred by other professionals as well as GPs – were being treated.
But GPs tell Pulse that crude thresholds applied to the CAMHS referrals criteria are excluding many of those they refer.
Alarmingly, these criteria include only accepting referrals when patients have previously attempted or are at risk of suicide, are experiencing psychotic symptoms or are self-harming.
Despite government promises of ‘parity of esteem’ between physical and mental health, all this is happening against a background of significant cuts to the mental health budget. In April 2014 Pulse revealed most CCGs were applying 20% larger cuts to CAMHS than to other healthcare services.
Click on the shocking graphic to read the article in full on the Pulse website: