Support for overhaul of children’s mental health services

CPFT's Dr Margaret Murphy - who was part of taskforce - hails an 'important step'

Support for overhaul of children’s mental health services
17 March 2015

Clinicians at Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust have backed plans to give mental health services for children and young people a radical shake-up.

The Government has today announced a complete overhaul of services following the publication of a report which stated too many young people are not getting the help they need.

A series of measures have been outlined including tailored support to match the needs of individual children and young people, easier access to care, and better support for families are some of the proposals outlined in a wide ranging report following recommendation from an independent taskforce.

Dr Margaret Murphy, Consultant Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist, at the CPFT-run Phoenix Centre at Ida Darwin, Cambridge, a unit for young people with complex eating disorders, chaired one of the taskforce’s groups.

Dr Murphy (pictured above) said: “For years the needs of people of all-ages with mental health problems have been relatively neglected. This is not only inhumane but a poor use of public resources as we know good mental health and responding to mental health problems effectively, especially when these occur early in life, is cost saving. I hope the taskforce recommendations are implemented as one step towards achieving true parity of esteem.”

Dr Naomi Elton, CPFT’s Clinical Director of Children’s Services (pictured below), added: “This is very welcome news. Improved services and increased funding are badly needed.

“In recent years we’ve seen the number of young people requiring our services continuing to rise, but the level of funding has remained at a standstill. The gap between demand and capacity is now mismatched.

“Providing children and young people with the services they deserve is vital. There’s a lot of evidence that untreated mental health disorders in young people can become lifelong problems which affect not only that person but also the whole family.

“We will now work with our commissioners, and all other local partners, to ensure Cambridgeshire and Peterborough gets the funding it deserves.”

The proposals include:
• Tackling stigma and developing a targeted campaign to ensure young people and their families are not afraid to seek help
• Information and self-help via online tools and apps
• Changing the way services are commissioned so that care is based around the needs of children and their families
• Continued support throughout teenage years in to early 20s to avoid lost support at 18
• ‘One stop shop’ support services in the community
• Improved care for children and young people in crisis so they are treated in the right place at the right time, as close to home as possible
• More support for parents to help them improve family relationships
• Mental health training for health professionals, including GPs and teachers
• Improved access for children and young people who are particularly vulnerable, such as looked after children and care leavers, and those in contact with the youth justice system.

The full report can be found here.

In Wednesday’s Budget, the Government is expected to announce an extra £1.25bn for mental health with a large proportion of the money going to help an extra 100,000 children and young people to get help by 2020.


For more information please contact:

Andy Burrows
Communications Manager
E andy.burrows@cpft.nhs.uk
T 01223 726767

Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust
Elizabeth House, Fulbourn Hospital
Cambridge, CB21 5EF

T 01223 219400 (open 8:30am to 5pm)
F 01480 398501

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