latest health care news


NHS must do more to help traumatised children

The NHS risks adding to children’s mental health problems instead of helping them, charity YoungMinds has warned.

In a new report, YoungMinds says that the NHS, as well as schools, social services and the police, is not equipped to deal with children who are at risk of mental health problems following traumatic experiences such as abuse, violence, bereavement, bullying and relocation.

For example, children who display behaviours such as being aggressive, self-destructive, withdrawn or highly sexualised are often punished instead of helped.

Sarah Brennan, chief executive of YoungMinds, said: “The last thing vulnerable children need is to be re-traumatised by services that should be helping them.

“Across the board, services need to focus less on ‘correcting’ behaviour, and more on identifying and addressing the underlying causes of childhood trauma. There are social and financial gains for the young person – but also the whole of society by doing this. Not doing anything makes no sense at all.”

The charity said the Department of Health and the Department for Education should urgently establish a national expert group to develop new models of care and practice for dealing with traumatised children.

In addition, it said NHS England and CCGs should review local transformation plans and STPs in order to assess their fitness for meeting the needs of children who have faced adversity.

It said the government should commit to a national focus on tackling child adversity and sharing best practice in 2018-19.

Around one in 10 children and young people have a diagnosable mental health condition, and one in four show some signs of mental ill health according to the government’s criteria.

Despite this, recent research from the Centre for Mental Health shows that it takes an average of 10 years for children to receive mental health treatment, and findings from the Children’s Commissioner revealed that 28% of young people referred to child and adolescent mental health services were turned away.

YoungMinds said that children who’ve had traumatic experiences should be fast-tracked to access mental health services even if they don’t meet the usual criteria.

The CQC said last week that NHS staff must do more to identify children suffering from issues such as parental ill health, sexual exploitation and female genital mutilation.

Have you got a story to tell? Would you like to become an NHE columnist? If so, click here.


There are no comments. Why not be the first?

Add your comment


national health executive tv

more videos >

featured articles

View all News

last word

Hard to be optimistic

Hard to be optimistic

Rachel Power, chief executive of the Patients Association, warns that we must be realistic about the very real effects of continued underfunding across the health service. It’s now beyond more > more last word articles >

health service focus

View all News


Staying curious with the Shadow Board Programme

20/03/2019Staying curious with the Shadow Board Programme

Kirstie Stott, director of The Inspiring Leaders Network, discusses organis... more >
Fiction as Therapy

20/03/2019Fiction as Therapy

Elaine Bousfield of ZunTold Publishing – a press specialising in fict... more >


How can winter pressures be dealt with? Introduce a National Social Care Service, RCP president suggests

24/10/2018How can winter pressures be dealt with? Introduce a National Social Care Service, RCP president suggests

A dedicated national social care service could be a potential solution to s... more >

the scalpel's daily blog

Personal Health Budgets: empowering individuals

20/03/2019Personal Health Budgets: empowering individuals

Jon Baker, PHBChoices director at NHS Shared Business Services (NHS SBS) believes that the extension of Personal Health Budgets (PHBs) is a great opportunity for clinical comm... more >
read more blog posts from 'the scalpel' >

healthcare events

events calendar


March 2019

mon tue wed thu fri sat sun
25 26 27 28 1 2 3
4 5 6 7 8 9 10
11 12 13 14 15 16 17
18 19 20 21 22 23 24
25 26 27 28 29 30 31
1 2 3 4 5 6 7

editor's comment

25/09/2017A hotbed of innovation

This edition of NHE comes hot on the heels of this year’s NHS Expo which, once again, proved to be a huge success at Manchester Central. A number of announcements were made during the event, with the health secretary naming the second wave of NHS digital pioneers, or ‘fast followers’, which follow the initial global digital exemplars who were revealed at the same show 12 months earlier.  Jeremy Hunt also stated that by the end of 2018 – the 70th birthday... read more >