Sunday, July 23, 2006

Possible uses for £224m

A document leaked to the Observer shows just how bad things are in Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services:

A letter sent from the Department of Health to senior NHS officials shows that the government will fail to meet its three key targets for children and young people's access to psychiatric care by its deadline of December.

The biggest setback is that for one-quarter of the country there is no emergency help for teenagers suffering a 'psychotic crisis' or severe depression. This '24/7 cover' was seen as essential for vulnerable children and teenagers, who can otherwise become far more seriously ill and sometimes suicidal.

For families whose children have learning disabilities, including autism, the situation is also bleak. Only half of primary care trusts, which commission care from hospitals, can provide access to mental health specialists for these youngsters. The leaked document includes a survey showing that in some areas, such as Kent, there is no mental health service at all for such children.

The third target which cannot be met is for 16 to 17-year-olds to have appropriate care. Many end up in adult psychiatric wards, which can be dangerous.

Ah well, if we put millions into a comprehensive database system, at least we'll know which children would need services if we could afford them.


At Monday, July 24, 2006 5:51:00 AM, Blogger Carlotta said...

This care deficit (as with the shortage in neo-natal care) is truly shocking and the database, an outrageous misuse of public money.


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