Mental health trust leaders have unanimously agreed that the demand on children and young people (CYP) mental health services has significantly (80%) or moderately (20%) increased when compared to six months ago.
In response to a survey carried out by NHS Providers, the chairs and chief executives of CYP mental health services said that this meant they were struggling to meet demand, with waiting times dramatically increasing.
The top three reasons why trust leaders say demand for CYP mental health services are not being met are:
- Increased complexity/acuity of caseloads due to the COVID-19 pandemic (88%)
- Additional demand due to the COVID-19 pandemic (42%)
- Lack of suitable social care provision (42%)
The next significant reasons included, ‘not enough patient beds’ (36%) and ‘workforce shortages’ (33%).
Lack of appropriate skills in existing the workforce was also voted for by 11% of respondents.
Of the respondents, 83% of trust leaders said they are extremely (37%) or moderately (47%) concerned about staff wellbeing and current levels of stress and burnout across their CYP services workforce. A further 10% are somewhat concerned.
Altogether 35 trust leaders responded to the survey. The responses were from 30 unique trusts, accounting for 58% of the sector that provide CYP mental health services.
NHS Providers: Children and young people’s mental health services survey