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Government adds £25m to mental health fund for under-18s

28 September 2016

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The Government has allocated an extra £25 million to clinical commissioning groups  (CCGs) to speed up plans for improving mental health services for children and young people.

CCGs have already received a £149 million investment after the Government committed to improving mental health services or children and young people in the 2014 Autumn Statement and 2015 Spring Budget.

The added funding has been invested by the Government to ensure that an extra 70,000 children and young people will be able to access evidence based treatment by 2020.

NHS England’s Implementing the Five Year Forward View for Mental Health, released in July, committed to meeting 35% of children and young people’s mental health needs in the community by 2020/21.

In order to secure release of the additional £25m, CCGs will be asked to provide details of how they intend to improve average waiting times for treatment by March 2017.

The funding is intended to help cut waiting times for treatment, reduce waiting list backlogs and minimise the length of stay for those in inpatient care.

The investment will also be expected to support staff training and push forward plans for crisis, liaison and home treatment interventions for under-18s.

NHS England has said funding received by CCGs will increase each year to 2020/21, to maximising the amount available for frontline services that benefit children, young people and their families.

Clare Murdoch, NHS England’s national director for mental health, said: “This additional funding is evidence that improving mental health services is an absolute priority for the NHS.

“We hope this year to see some real headway being made on ensuring that children and young people with mental health needs are seen and treated as quickly and as close to home as possible.”

CCGs are free to pool this funding across NHS organisations in their area to help deliver local transformation plans for mental health as well as sustainability and transformation plans.