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Hinckley and Bosworth Lib Dems call for increased spending on children and young people's Mental Health services

April 12, 2016 7:29 PM

Liberal Democrats in Hinckley and Bosworth are calling for increased spending on children and young people's Mental Health services in the East Midlands, after a new report found the region's lagging behind other parts of the country.

The analysis, produced by the think-tank Centre Forum in its 'Children and Young People's Mental Health: State of the Nation' report, has found a big expenditure gap; with only £41 per child being spent in the East Midlands, compared to £83 in Northern England.

It says that nationally just 0.7% of NHS funding is spent on young people's mental health, with only 16% of that going on early intervention.

The report is the first produced by Centre Forum's Commission on children and young people's mental health, chaired by Lib Dem Health Spokesperson and the former Coalition Government Minister with responsibility for Mental Health Norman Lamb MP.

It finds that one in ten young people have a mental health problem, the equivalent of three in every classroom...meaning there are around 720,000 children and young people aged between five and sixteen experiencing a mental health problem in England.

It reveals that (nationally) child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS) are, on average, turning away nearly a quarter (23%) of children referred to them for treatment because their condition was not considered serious enough, or not considered suitable for specialist mental health treatment.

In the amount spent by CCG (Clinical Commissioning Group) and LA (Local Authority) only, the East Midlands came bottom with £41 per child.

The West Midlands and South West fared only slightly better on £48, with Thames Valley spending £44.

At the top are Northern England £83, Yorkshire and Humber £65, and both Cheshire & Merseyside and London spending £61 per child.

County Councillor Michael Mullaney, the Lib Dems Parliamentary Spokesperson for Bosworth, says "I have for some years campaigned for mental ill health to be given equal parity with physical ill health.

"Mental ill health can affect many people in the community and it is extremely disappointing that young people with mental ill health in the Midlands are not being given the same support as elsewhere in the country."

Campaigner Mathew Hulbert, former Councillor and Hinckley and Bosworth Borough Council's Children and Young People's Champion from 2011 to 2015, says "We need to see the amount spent on mental health services for children and adolescents in the East Midlands reaching the levels of those parts of the country who are spending the most.

"Anyone, young or old, can suffer with mental ill health and we Lib Dems believe it must be taken as seriously as physical health problems, and this disparity in funding in our region compared with others is just not acceptable."

Mr Hulbert, who is chair of national group Lib Dem Friends of Youth Services, says "Across the country, including in Leicestershire, youth services more widely have seen the axe taken to them time and again and it's very disappointing to see that specific mental health services for the same age group in the East Midlands are bottom of the league nationally in terms of CCG and LA funding.

"We call on decision makers, local, regional and national, to ensure that this funding disadvantage in our area is addressed.

"Mental health services for our children and young people are vitally important and cannot be allowed to be a postcode lottery any longer."

END

The report in its entirety can be found here: http://centreforum.org/publications/children-young-peoples-mental-health-state-nation/