Headlines: September 28th, 1999

The Audit Commission has given a strong message to Health Authorities and Trust to join up delivery of young people’s mental health services. In the first ever analysis of data about the services, the Commission found that design and delivery is not keeping pace with a rapidly changing agenda.The specialist care and mental health services spend just one per cent of their time supporting other agencies such as other healthbodies, councils, social workers, GPs and schools. One quarter of specialist services had no liaison with GPs. The report seeks to create a momentum for the specialists to support GPs, health visitors, teachers and social workers. In developing this joined up approach health commissioners are urged to take the lead.
One in five children and adolescents suffer from mental health problems, but the services they receive depend on the post code in which they live. Spending by Trusts on the services varies up to seven times and 10% of Trusts have waiting times of 6 months.