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Children have poor experience of mental health care

How can the system be improved?

Care Quality Commission researchers have found children and young people’s mental health services to be complex and fragmented.

Responding to a request by the Prime Minister to conduct a review of quality and access across the system, the CQC said mental health care is funded, commissioned and provided by many different organisations ‘that do not always work together in a joined-up way’.

The review found more children and young people are being diagnosed with mental health problems than in the past, but some are unable to access ‘timely and appropriate support’.

This was partly because some people who work with children and young people do not always have the skills to identify mental health issues.

Safety is identified as the greatest area of concern in specialist child and adolescent mental health services.

Where the review found good care, and in some cases outstanding care, there was collaboration between services and organisations.

The next stage of the review, due out in March 2018, will look at how to improve access and quality for children, young people, and their families and carers.

Further information

CQC: Review of children and young people’s mental health services: phase one report

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