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Mental Health

Volume 405: debated on Tuesday 13 May 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many sick days were lost over the last year by his Department through staff mental health problems. [111998]

Information on the number of days lost through mental health problems is not held centrally.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will make a statement on the progress of the development of mental health services for young people. [112166]

The Government's strategy for the development of child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS), initiated in 1999–2000, is making progress with the aim of improving the overall quality and accessibility of local services for children and young people with mental health problems. In the four years ending 31 March 2003, we invested ?105 million in CAMHS developments across the National Health Service and local authorities, which resulted in significant increases in staffing, new or expanded services and better joint working between the main providing agencies.Our objectives for the further development of CAMHS, set out in the Department's Priorities and Planning Framework 2003–2006 "Improvement, Expansion and Reform", include year-on-year increases of at least ten per cent across the service according to agreed local priorities leading to a comprehensive service in all areas by 2006. These developments will be underpinned by additional central investment of some £250 million over the three years and by guidance contained in the new children's national service framework (NSF). The recently published emerging findings from the NSF include a chapter on the mental health and psychological well-being of children and the content of a comprehensive CAMHS.