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11.10.19

NHS Providers: New mental health taskforce welcome

Following the announcement by NHS England of a new taskforce to improve specialist mental health services, NHS Providers have praised the move but also warned that we must also remain realistic about how quickly progress can be made.

Deputy chief executive of NHS Providers, Saffron Cordery, said: “It is welcome to see a new taskforce set up to improve current specialist children and young people’s inpatient mental health, autism and learning disability services, as part of delivering on the ambitions of the NHS long term plan.

“There is a significant unmet demand in children and young peoples’ services. According to our recent survey, a third of mental health leaders said that children and young people are increasingly waiting longer to access treatment for inpatient services and 29% felt they are unable to meet current demand.

READ MORE: NHS Providers welcome continued investment in emergency mental health services

READ MORE: NHS Providers says prevention green paper must be backed by action

“It is good to see the ambitions in the long term plan to help close this gap but it clearly requires things to be done differently. For example, current service models must be transformed to create a comprehensive offer for those up to the age of 25.

“That’s why the additional scrutiny and support set out today is very much needed. But there is a great deal to deliver here and we have to be realistic about how quickly progress can be made given the capacity and resources currently available.

“The taskforce’s ability to succeed in rapidly improving care will be severely hampered if the gaps in the mental health workforce and the lack of capital investment remain unaddressed.”

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