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Comment: CQC Report into Child and Adolescent Mental Health

Responding to the CQC report on child and adolescent mental health Alison Michalska, ADCS President, said:

“ADCS welcomes the publication of this report. The report, like so many before it, rightly highlights the disparity in quality of and access to child and adolescent mental health services in this country. Where the system is working well CQC evidenced ‘good’ and ‘outstanding’ services, this is positive, but there is still too much variation in the quality of care children and young people receive. Many experience long and unacceptable delays and difficulties in accessing child and adolescent mental health services, particularly children in care. This is not acceptable and is further damaging the lives and outcomes of the most vulnerable in our society.

“The majority of mental illnesses begin during childhood and early access to support will help improve outcomes across their life journey. It is widely recognised that when children and young people don’t receive the right support, at the right time, their conditions can worsen and reach crisis point. For children and young people who need the most intensive mental health support, otherwise known as Tier 4, there are significant challenges in accessing placements due to lack of capacity in this part of the system, highlighted by recent high profile cases, and ongoing disagreements about thresholds and behaviours. For a small group of extremely vulnerable young people accessing this support can be the difference between life and death. Yet to date government rhetoric and funding hasn’t resulted in transformative action on the frontline. The second phase of the report, due for publication in spring 2018, will set out recommendations to encourage improvement across the system, this is welcome, but we are losing valuable time to improve services for children and young people now at a time when need for these services is increasing.”


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