As a coalition whose members deliver specialist care and education services for children and young people with complex needs, we have written to the cabinet secretary for health, Shona Robison MSP, urging that she use the opportunity of increased spending by the UK Government on health to address the current crisis in mental health services for children and young people in Scotland.
As part of his Autumn Statement, Chancellor George Osborne announced an extra £2 billion for the NHS. According to the Barnett Formula, Scotland will receive about £125 million of this and we are urging the Scottish Government to plough part of this funding bonus into improving vital mental health services for vulnerable children and young people.
Recent information highlights the fact that the majority of health boards are set to miss an 18-week treatment target for access to specialist child and adolescent mental health services which comes into force this month. The number of those being treated in non-specialist adult and paediatric wards has increased to 202 this year.
Currently across Scotland there is also no secure inpatient provision for those children and young people with mental health conditions, leading to many being treated in an unsuitable environment in Scotland or being sent miles away from their families to England.
Scotland aims to lead the way in promoting the wellbeing of children and this extra funding would go a significant way to helping families.
Let us now go that extra mile and ensure that we have a range of mental health services available in Scotland for those who so vitally need it.
The Scottish Children’s Services Coalition comprising:
Spark of Genius
Who Cares? Scotland
Falkland House School