MPs launch inquiry into progress of children's mental health services

Former Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt will lead investigation into the Government’s progress in improving children and young people’s mental health provision.

02/02/21

MPs launch inquiry into progress of children's mental health services

MPs in the Health and Social Care Select Committee have launched an inquiry into children and young people’s mental health, coinciding with Children’s Mental Health Week (1-7 February 2021).

The inquiry will examine the progress that has been made by the government against their own ambitions from the 2017 green paper ‘Transforming children and young people’s mental health provision’, launched by then Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt.

The inquiry will have a specific focus to progress on mental health support provision in schools, support on eating disorders and how services are accessed, including the ambition to cut the time taken to receive treatment.

The Committee will also examine the use of prevention measures to lower rates of suicide among young people. Improvements to inpatient care and how to reduce the use of physical and medical restraints will also be considered.

Mr. Hunt, leading the probe, said supporting young people in crisis “can never have been more of a priority than now”.

“We will be considering the case for wider change to prioritise early intervention, and for those who need inpatient care, looking at how the stress can be reduced.

“Crucially, we will ask what more can be done to reduce the growing numbers who turn to self-harm or suicide.”

The announcement comes after Children’s Commissioner for England, Anne Longfield, said access to children’s mental health services in England was ‘nowhere near’ adequate.

Longfield’s comments came after new research found only around 1 in 4 children who need mental health services currently have access to the support they need, while just 20% of referred children started treatment within four weeks.

The inquiry into children’s mental health services is welcoming submissions from anyone with answers to the questions in the call for evidence. You can submit evidence until Friday 26 February 2021.

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