Association of Mental Health Providers has been an active and engaged member of the Expert Advisory Group of the Care Quality Commission (CQC) Thematic Review of Children and Young People’s mental health. The Review was established by the Prime Minister in January 2017 and has delivered its programme activity through two distinct phases.
The purpose of the review was to understand how different parts of the mental health system can work together to make sure that children, young people, their families and carers have timely access to high-quality mental health care. CQC set out to understand what makes it easier, and what makes it harder, for the different people and organisations in the system to achieve that goal. The review was carried out in two phases. A phase one report was published in October 2017. This report summarised existing knowledge and evidence about the quality and accessibility of mental health services for children and young people. It drew on existing research and policy, as well as conversations with children and young people, and the findings of CQC inspections of specialist child and adolescent mental health services.
The second phase of the research focused on detailed fieldwork in 10 Health and Wellbeing areas across England, and included extensive interviews with health and care professionals, families, schools, youth offending teams, children and young people, support organisations and others.
The Association concurs with the key findings of the report and recognises the picture of a fragmented system of mental health care that is not always able to offer children and young people the right support in the right place, with the right person with the right skills at the right time.
Action at national, regional and local level in required to address the key themes of the report, including ensuring that the National Audit Office complete a review of spend on children and young people’s mental health care, high level leadership is in place, and ensuring that Sustainability and Transformation Partnerships and Integrated Care Systems collaborate at a local level with all partners, including police, education and third sector organisations, to ensure good services are available to children and families, and that thresholds for eligibility and access are clear.
The CQC Report Are We Listening? can be found here: www.cqc.org.uk/reallylistening.