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Mental Health

Volume 450: debated on Wednesday 25 October 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Health how much money was allocated for research into the causes of child and adolescent mental health in each of the last 10 years; and if she will make a statement. (93018)

The main agency through which the Government supports biomedical research is the Medical Research Council (MRC). The MRC is an independent body funded by the Department of Trade and Industry via the Office of Science and Innovation.

The MRC's expenditure on projects related to the causes of child and adolescent mental health in each of the last 10 years was as follows:

£ million

1996-97

2.23

1997-98

2.43

1998-99

2.70

1999-2000

3.82

2000-011

3.14

2001-02

2.81

2002-03

3.82

2003-04

3.27

2004-05

1.94

2005-06

22.5

1 Expenditure figures prior to 2000-01 are not directly comparable with those after that date as expenditure on Fellowships is not available for the earlier years. 2 Estimated.

The purpose of most of the Department’s centrally funded research concerned with child and adolescent mental health has been to support policy and provide the evidence needed to underpin quality improvement and service development in the national health service. Departmental expenditure on research projects1 related to the causes of mental ill heath in children and adolescents is shown in the following table:

1 Includes three national child and adolescent mental health surveys.

£ million1

1996-97

Not available

1997-98

0.2

1998-99

0.8

1999-2000

0.4

2000-01

0.1

2001-02

0.5

2002-03

0.5

2003-04

0.8

2004-05

0.7

2005-06

0.1

1 Includes the full cost of two projects jointly funded with the Home Office.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many children and adolescents were prescribed drugs for mental health problems in each of the last 10 years, broken down by primary care trust; and if she will make a statement. (93019)

To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many crisis resolution teams dedicated to children and adolescent mental health problems were in place in each of the last 10 years, broken down by primary care trust; and if she will make a statement. (93022)

Crisis resolution teams were established for people aged 16 to 65 years old with severe mental illness, for example schizophrenia, manic depressive disorders, severe depressive disorder, in an acute psychiatric crisis of such severity that, without the involvement of a crisis resolution/home treatment team, hospitalisation would be necessary. In a survey undertaken earlier this year 243 teams were identified.

In tracking progress towards the public service agreement target of a comprehensive child and adolescent mental health service in every area by the end of 2006 the Department is collecting information about the availability of a 24-hour, seven days a week emergency service for children and young people aged 17 or younger. At the end of June 2006, the latest date for which information is available, 85.5 per cent. of primary care trusts were commissioning such a service.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what plans she has to improve services in secure mental health units. (94106)

The impetus for improving the quality of services in secure mental health units comes through the contract negotiation process between the commissioners and providers of such services.

More generally, the Healthcare Commission provides an independent overseeing view on the performance of organisations providing secure mental health services, in the same way that they do for other health care providers. The commission has a wide range of responsibilities, all aimed at improving the quality of health care.

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what discussions she has had with other Government departments on improving services at secure mental health units. (94107)

The Department and the Home Office are the Government Departments with the greatest interest in secure mental health units. The Home Office interest stems from their responsibility for restricted patients who enter secure mental health units through the criminal justice system.

Health and Offender Partnerships, based in the Department, has responsibility for the health and criminal justice system interface and, on an ongoing basis, enables, where appropriate, a joint approach between the Department and the Home Office national offender management service to the development and improvement of secure mental health provision.

The dangerous and severe personality disorder is an example where the Home Office, the Department, the Prison Service and the national health service have come together to deliver new mental health services for people who are, or have previously been, considered dangerous as a result of severe personality disorder.