Skip to main content

Mental Health Services

Volume 626: debated on Tuesday 4 July 2017

We are investing a record £1.4 billion in children’s mental health services. The transition from children’s services to adult services can cause distress, so NHS England has prioritised transitions when offering financial incentives for improvements. We will consider that in the forthcoming Green Paper.

I thank the Minister for that answer. There is a growing crisis in young people’s mental health in Plymouth and the far south-west. Despite 75% of mental health problems starting before the age of 18, only 8% of funding is allocated to young people. Will the Minister consider ring-fencing that young people’s mental health spending so that the funding gets to where it is needed?

The hon. Gentleman makes a good point. We have to balance the need to give CCGs the flexibility to dedicate funding and prioritise in their own way. We have been told by mental health professionals that the targets for physical health are more rigorous than those for mental health. We need to keep that under review, but we have imposed additional targets, which are being met.

I commend the Government for their work on mental health over the past few years, but when the Department of Health publishes its Green Paper, jointly with the Department for Education, may I urge the Minister to focus on the evidence of what works for young people and children, which is rigorous early intervention, often with enduring psychotherapeutic interventions? Can she reassure me that the Green Paper will look at evidence on what actually works for young people?

I can give my hon. Friend that assurance. Indeed, the Care Quality Commission is undertaking a thematic review to see what works. He is right to identify early intervention as key but, as the hon. Member for Plymouth, Sutton and Devonport (Luke Pollard) highlighted, there is a need to consider the transition as well.

The right hon. Member for North Norfolk (Norman Lamb) is not exactly standing; he is more perched like a panther about to pounce.

Thank you for the encouragement, Mr Speaker.

I have been alerted to an online posting yesterday on the social network Nextdoor by the father of a teenager who suffered awful trauma witnessing the horror at Grenfell Tower. He was after therapy for his daughter. Clearly there is an absolute need to ensure that everyone who may be in need knows how to get such therapy. What are the Government doing to ensure that everyone does know? Also, what are they doing to ensure that there is sufficient funding locally so that mental health services can provide for what will clearly be ongoing needs?

I thank the right hon. Gentleman for his question. I would be grateful to receive more details so that we can make sure that such support is going where it is needed. I advise him that, certainly in the case of the too-frequent disasters that we have had recently, we have been relying on more intervention on the ground. In our work on mental health first aid we are prioritising exactly those areas.