Referrals to children and adolescent services up by 26%
October 10, 2018
By: Jenna Rachid
The number of referrals to child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS) has increased by 26% over the last five years, but one in four referrals were either rejected or treatment was deemed unnecessary, says a reports by the Education Policy Institute (EPI).
The EPI’s research also found that 55,800 children under the age of 18, who were referred to CAMHS, did not meet the criteria for specialist treatment. One reason for exclusion in self-harm referrals said that individuals who self-harmed had to have an additional mental health condition.
Jo Hutchinson, director of social mobility and vulnerable learners at the EPI, said: ‘While we have seen a reduction in some of the longest waiting times, many children still face a lengthy period of time before they can receive any specialist treatment and the number of referrals into these stretched services is rising.’
For many people it does. Research commissioned by the BBC found that one thousand young people across eight European leaving child and adolescent health services (CAMHS) are often left without support.
According to the research, many young CAMHS leavers say were not told about the options available to them when they were discharged around their 18thbirthday.
These leavers also report having decisions made for them without their involvement, feeling as if they have to persuade services they need help and reporting services deemed them not ‘ill enough’ for adult mental health services.
‘In the UK, one in three young people who attended CAMHS and needed continued support, didn’t manage to make the move.’
‘Those with depression and/or anxiety, or those with a neurodevelopmental disorder such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), are among those most affected,’ the BBC writes.
A survey from the Royal College of Psychiatrists has found that patients with mental health problems can wait up to 13 years for sufficient treatment.
Professor Wendy Burn, the President at the Royal College of Psychiatrists said: ‘It is a scandal that patients are waiting so long for treatment,’ she added, ‘the failure to give people with mental illnesses the prompt help they need is ruining their lives.’
According to findings, 37% also believed their mental health had deteriorated in the time they waited for specialist help, with a quarter of survey participants waiting more than 3 months for treatment.
A spokesperson for NHS England said: ‘It would be appropriate to highlight that, after decades of underinvestment, the NHS is ramping up mental health services, including expanding talking therapies and improving treatment times while the NHS’s long-term plan will set out further priorities for the years ahead.’
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