Care Minister Norman Lamb has told the BBC that mental health services for children and young people are “stuck in the dark ages” and has reiterated his commitment to establish a taskforce to look at ways of improving the way the services are organised and commissioned.
The taskforce will be chaired by the Government’s social care director general Jon Rouse and will include representatives from NHS England, the Department for Education, local councils, the charity sector, and young people with mental health issues.
Lamb in fact announced the launch of the taskforce over a month ago during an evidence session of the Health Select Committee’s inquiry into child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS).
The move comes as the catalogue of shortfalls in current child mental health services continues to build.
Given that, under the Government’s current budgetary constraints, NHS England recommended that Clinical Commissioning Groups cut funding for mental health services by 20 per cent more than for physical health, there needs to be less rhetoric from Lamb and faster action.