A quarter of a million children in the UK with mental health problems have been denied help by the NHS as it struggles to manage surging case loads against a backdrop of a crisis in child mental health.
Some NHS trusts are failing to offer treatment to 60% of those referred by GPs, the research based on freedom of information request responses has found.
The research carried out by the House magazine and shared with the Guardian also revealed a postcode lottery, with spending per child four times higher in some parts of the country than others, while average waits for a first appointment vary by trust from 10 days to three years.
Olly Parker, head of external affairs at YoungMinds, said the freedom of information findings showed a “system is in total shutdown” with “no clear government plan to rescue it”, after the 10-year mental health plan was scrapped.
“In the meantime, young people are self-harming and attempting suicide as they wait months and even years for help after being referred by doctors,” he said. “This is not children saying ‘I’m unhappy.’ They are ill, they are desperate and they need urgent help.”News