A recent report released by the Royal College of Psychiatrists stated that NHS bodies are spending as little as £2.01 per child on mental health care for young people. In this report, Tower Hamlets CCG was listed as one of the CCGs with the lowest allocated spending for CAMHS, allocating £4.45 for every under-18 in our borough. This information is incorrect, mental health services for children and young people in Tower Hamlets has seen more support and investment over the past year. In fact our spending on services for children and young people’s mental health in the borough is nearly ten times the figure reported, with the CCG allocating £3.6million for CAMHS services in 2015/16.
Improving the mental health of children and young people in Tower Hamlets is an absolute priority for the CCG. Over the past year we have been working with partners including Tower Hamlets Council, the local voluntary sector and our providers to develop our CAMHS transformation plans and have already made some huge improvements to services in the borough.
In the last year we have invested funds to establish new services for eating disorders and conduct disorders in children and young people. We have worked with children and young people in Tower Hamlets and local organisations to run a local mental health awareness campaign including video, photography and grime tracks produced by local young people, and a Tower Hamlets webpage with TheMix site for young people.
The CCG and Tower Hamlets Council have been working together with local schools and mental health providers to ensure that children and young people have better access to local specialist mental health services, and that support is consistent across services. We have also helped our local CAMHS to reduce its waiting times for appointments to five weeks. We can also proudly say that our local CAMHS provider East London Foundation Trust is one of the best in the country, recently being rated as ‘Outstanding’ by the Care Quality Commission (CQC).
Children and young people’s mental health really matters, not only for the individual and their family, but for the community as a whole. That is why we will continue to focus our attention on working with our partners and ensuring there is more support and investment over the coming years so that children and young people with mental health concerns have access to the best possible support.
Acting Chief Officer
NHS Tower Hamlets CCG