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Review of Children and Young People’s Mental Health Services: Phase One Report

The Prime Minister asked CQC to conduct a review of quality and access across the system of mental health services for children and young people. This report marks the first phase of that review.

The report brings together the insights and experiences of many different people and organisations. It summarises the current state of knowledge, the problems and challenges, and the effect of these problems and challenges on children and young people and their families and carers.

What CQC found

The system as a whole is complex and fragmented. Mental health care is funded, commissioned and provided by many different organisations that do not always work together in a joined-up way. As a result, too many children and young people have a poor experience of care and some are unable to access timely and appropriate support.

Where CQC have seen good care, they have found collaboration within services and also between different organisations and services. CQC also found examples of creative approaches that help some services provide good or outstanding examples of person-centred care.

People who work with children and young people do not always have the skills or capacity to identify mental health problems. They may not be able to help children and young people access the right support at the right time.

More children and young people are being diagnosed with some types of mental health conditions than in the past.

Safety is seen as the greatest overall area of concern in specialist child and adolescent mental health services.

Next steps

This report is the beginning of CQC’s review and lays the foundations for their next steps.

In the next phase of the review, CQC will look at what could be done to make it easier to improve access and quality.

CQC will make full recommendations when they publish their thematic review in March 2018.