Spending in Enfield on the mental health of children ranks amongst the bottom 10 in the country, it has been revealed. Commissioners in Enfield are planning to spend just £2.33 per child on mental health.
Despite Government investing of £119m in child and adolescent mental health services this year, with a further £140m promised for 2017/18, the proportion of sorely needed cash that has landed in the hands of doctors to spend on young people in Enfield amounts to just 0.41% of the Borough’s mental health budget. It is at the discretion of local Clinical Commissioning Groups to ensure that this money is passed to the front line based on their assessment of local need.
Enfield MP Joan Ryan has now written to the group, urging it to give mental health the “priority it deserves.”
In the letter, to the chairman of the Enfield CCG, Dr Mo Abedi, she urged the body to ensure extra investment is provided to frontline mental health services.
She said: “Mental health disorders affecting children and adolescents are a serious issue. The number of young people aged under 18 attending Accident and Emergency departments in England, due to a psychiatric condition, doubled between 2010 and 2015.
“The demand for young people’s mental health services – in Enfield and elsewhere – has never been greater, so the analysis by the Royal College of Psychiatrists is deeply concerning.
“It is vital that the CCG reviews its spending commitments in this area and it is also incumbent on the Government to provide better support to our chronically underfunded and overstretched local health services.”
David Burrowes MP said: “It is a scandal that almost a quarter of our young people are turned away when referred to mental health specialists by their GP. How is it that as prevalence of mental health disorders among young people soar, local commissioners can slash spending on support for our children?”
“There is now a greater Government commitment to support child and adolescent mental health and this needs to be matched locally as well. Enfield Council and CCG must reverse the cuts they have planned for the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service, and invest in the mental health of vulnerable young people. It makes sense because when we don’t support children and young people’s mental health needs, they will become more complex and costly”.