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Mental Health Services: Children

Question for Department of Health and Social Care

UIN 5249, tabled on 21 May 2021

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, with reference to finding by the Parent-Infant Foundation in 2019 that 42 per cent of CCGs reported local CAMHS services would not accept a referral for a child aged two and under, what steps his Department is taking to ensure that NHS CAMHS services do not turn away children under two.

Answered on

7 June 2021

We remain committed to the aim of the NHS Long Term Plan to invest at least an extra £2.3 billion a year into mental health by 2023/24. This will see an additional 345,000 children and young people a year, including the youngest children, accessing NHS-funded mental health support by 2023/24, if they need it.

Commissioning mental health services for the youngest age groups is a local matter for clinical commission groups. However, the Government recently published it’s Early Years Review which is available at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/the-best-start-for-life-a-vision-for-the-1001-critical-days.

Babies and the youngest children in England will get a better start in life following the publication of a review into reducing inequalities in the first 1,001 days of life. This includes every new parent and carer being able to access compassionate and timely mental health support if they need it. To implement this work, the Department will work with Public Health England, NHS England and NHS Improvement as well as local authorities to map out the Start for Life journey of parents and carers that captures how they experience digital, virtual and telephone-based services during the 1,001 critical days from conception to the age of 2. We will ensure parents and carers have an NHS-branded online ‘one stop shop’ to access all the information they need.