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Julian Sturdy - Strong Voice for York Outer

Julian Sturdy

Member of Parliament for York Outer

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Julian Presses Prime Minister on CAMHS Waiting Times

February 8, 2017

Today Julian shone the spotlight on Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) in York and national waiting times at Prime Minister’s Questions.

After being contacted by constituents about long waiting times for assessments by CAMHS, Julian submitted a written question to the Department of Health and discovered that they do not hold information on CAMHS waiting times across the country.

In a letter to Julian the Tees, Esk and Wear Valley NHS Trust (TEWV), who operate CAMHS, they estimate that their waiting list is currently at 9 months, falling from a reported 11 months over the last quarter of a year.

At Prime Minister’s Questions Julian asked:

“The Prime Minister rightly argues for true parity of esteem between mental and physical health. But parents in York have been told their children must wait up to a year for assessment by Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services. As the Department of Health does not currently record figures, would the Prime Minister consider making the monitoring of CAMHS waiting times a requirement?”

The Prime Minister, Theresa May, responded:

“My Honourable Friend has raised an important point. As I set out a few weeks ago, the Government will be reviewing the operation of CAMHS services across the country because I recognise some of the concerns that Honourable Members have raised about this. We want to ensure that children and young people have easy access, at the right time, to mental health because the evidence that a significant proportion of mental health problems that arise later in life actually start in adolescence. We have made more money available to support transformation in children and young people’s mental health……. We will look at the issue that my honourable friend has raised.”

Following the events in Parliament Julian said, “I honestly feel that we are playing catch up when it comes to mental health, both in York and across the country. If a child is struggling with mental health issues or undiagnosed conditions it is very important that they get the treatment and help they need, particularly in their early and formative years.

“I am pleased that the Prime Minister is taking this issue seriously, and pledged to review CAMHS in her recent speech on mental health. I believe that the central recording and publishing of CAMHS waiting times will help highlight this issue, and I will be seeking a meeting with TEWV and our local Clinical Commissioning Group to discuss these matters further.”

To watch Julian’s question please click here