Skip to main content

Mental Health

Volume 447: debated on Wednesday 14 June 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many young people are waiting to access child and adolescent mental health services, broken down by region; what the average waiting time to access child and adolescent mental health services was in the most recent year for which figures are available; and if she will make a statement. (77487)

Not all the information requested is collated centrally. The most recent information is derived from provisional figures from the 2005 child and adolescent mental health service (CAMHS) mapping exercise. In November 2005, there were 26,207 cases waiting to be seen by specialist CAMHS in England, a reduction of 2,674 from the previous year.

In November 2005, 52 per cent. of new cases were seen by specialist CAMHS within four weeks, an additional 33 per cent. within 13 weeks, and a further 10 per cent. within 26 weeks. 5 per cent. of cases waited over 26 weeks to be seen by specialist CAMHS.

The Department is committed to ensuring that comprehensive CAMHS are available to all who need them. Our vision is set out in the national service framework for children, young people and maternity services, published in September 2004.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health whether the black and minority ethnic mental health network (a) has been and (b) is (i) involved in and (ii) given appropriate notice of the development, implementation and facilitation of the race equality impact assessment consultation events on the Mental Health Bill; and if she will take steps to ensure that the network is (A) involved in and (B) given appropriate notice of future such events. (72961)

[holding answer 22 May 2006]: Seven events were held, attended by about 430 people across England and in Wales as part of the process of consultation to assess the potential race impact of the proposed amendments to the Mental Health Act 1983 and the Mental Capacity Act 2005. The black and minority ethnic (BME) mental health network was involved in the initial development of the race equality impact assessment (REIA) consultation events. Due to an unfortunate breakdown in communications over the timing of the events, the network decided to withdraw their support from the events. We apologised for any misunderstanding and sought to involve the network in the events. The events were attended by a range of users and carers, including representatives from the African-Caribbean, South Asian, Irish, Pakistani and Chinese communities.

Professor Antony Sheehan, Director General of the care services directorate, is now personally overseeing this work and is meeting with members of the BME network on 19 June 2006 to discuss how to continue taking this forward. This meeting will be followed by a ministerial meeting with members of the BME network on 20 June 2006. In the meantime, the Department's REIA advisory group met on 31 May and agreed to further work on the impact of the amendments to the Mental Health Act. The REIA advisory group has met on 13 June 2006. One of the members of the Department’s REIA advisory group is from MIND, and is also the co-chair of the BME network. The BME network continue to engage as part of the wider REIA process and we value their helpful input.