Mental health network

Mental Health Network backs new children and young people’s mental health taskforce

Sean Duggan

Responding to Simon Stevens' announcement of a children and young people's mental health taskforce, Sean Duggan, chief executive of the Mental Health Network, which is part of the NHS Confederation, said:

"Our members will welcome this new taskforce’s focus on improving services for some of the most vulnerable children and young people, particularly those with learning disabilities and autism.

"The Children’s Commissioner is a passionate advocate for children, who will work tirelessly to deliver positive change to those most in need.

"Inappropriate out-of-area placements and timely interventions are crucial issues which we hope the taskforce will address rapidly, while ensuring children and young people’s voices are represented throughout.

"In the longer term, we hope the taskforce will look to addressing models of care that support people from 0-25 years as we know young people are not always ready to transition to adult services when they turn 18, and we see significant numbers let down by this gap.

"Workforce remains the biggest barrier to the ambition of seeing every child and young person that needs specialised services. We have unprecedented levels of vacancies and need a significant boost in the recruitment and retention of mental health and learning disability staff."

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