Responding to the National Audit Office (NAO) report on support for vulnerable adolescents, Matthew Taylor chief executive of the NHS Confederation, said:
“Mental health leaders will not be surprised by the results of these NAO findings which once again highlight that too little attention is being paid by the government to support and build additional mental health services for the children and young people who need them.
“There can be no ifs and buts on this. We need a commitment from government to bring forward a properly resourced 10-Year Cross Government Plan for Mental Health and Wellbeing that ensures the drivers of mental ill health are tackled across departments for the benefit of those that use these services. This is in addition to urgent action to ensure services can meet the overwhelming levels of demand they are currently facing post pandemic and ahead of one of the toughest winters on record for the NHS.
“We know that failing to address mental health issues in childhood often leads to ongoing issues in adulthood so we would urge the government to invest in support for mental health services, to ensure children have access to the support they need even in their darkest hours."