CQC has been asked to lead "a major thematic review of children and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS) across the country" to identify what is working well and what is not.
Writing in the Huffington Post the Prime Minister said “I want to see mental health addressed not just in our hospitals, but in our classrooms and communities.”
“I want to see a focus on prevention as well as treatment, especially since so many adult mental health problems – which 1 in 4 of us will suffer from at any one time – begin in childhood.”
“No parent should feel helpless when watching their child suffer. No teacher should feel ill-equipped to deal with a troubled pupil. No teenager should have to leave their local area to seek treatment. No child should ever be left to feel like their life is not worth living.”
The CQC will be undertaking the review this year, working with other agencies and inspectorates, and expects to report on its findings in 2017/18.
Welcoming the announcement Dr Paul Lelliott, CQC's Deputy Chief Inspector of Hospitals (lead for mental health), said “"We know from our own inspections of all mental health services in England that there are problems with the quality of care that children and adolescents receive. These include long waiting times for assessment and treatment and difficulty accessing inpatient care close to home for those who need it.
"Through our inspection and ratings, we are holding mental health services to account. However, good mental healthcare for young people is about much more than the work of these specialised services. It requires all those responsible for healthcare, social care and education to work together to identify mental health problems early and to provide the support and care that young people need to attain and maintain good mental health.
Our thematic review will identify the strengths and weaknesses of the current system to support young people's mental health and help us better understand the pathways that children with mental health issues follow and the obstacles that they face."