Mental health services for children and young people will fall well short of meeting a growing demand for help, despite pledges by ministers to increase funding, a report by Whitehall’s spending watchdog has found.

The National Audit Office said even if current plans to spend an extra £1.4bn on the sector were delivered, there would be “significant unmet need” because of staff shortages, poor data and a lack of spending controls on NHS clinical commissioning groups.

At present, one-quarter of young people who required mental health services were able to access help from the NHS, the report said. The Department of Health and Social Care hopes to increase the proportion to 35% – estimated to be equivalent to treating an additional 70,000 children and young people per year between 2015-16 and 2020-21.

Full story in The Guardian, 9 October 2018

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