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Less than £50 per head is being spent on children’s mental health services in Bexley

PUBLISHED: 11:30 30 November 2016

Mental health spending is set to rise

Mental health spending is set to rise

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The Royal College of Psychiatrists has warned of a postcode lottery

The gap in London boroughs’ spending on children’s mental health services has widened to more than £100 per head, new analysis reveals.

On average, boroughs are spending just over £42 per head on young people’s services.

Bexley remains slightly above average with £48.37, but is well behind the likes of Camden, where health bosses are spending £121.30.

The figures come from the Royal College of Psychiatrists, which is warning of a postcode lottery across the capital.

Clinical commissioning groups in Enfield, Tower Hamlets, west London and central London are all spending less than £10 per head on services.

Enfield’s spend is set to change in the coming year, up to £17 per head.

The figures come after government promises to invest £1billion in mental health support services for youngsters.

Chair of the college’s Faculty of Child and Adolescent Psychiatrists, Dr Peter Hindley, said: “This research confirms the stories I hear from colleagues every day; the extra money promised to young people’s health services is not getting through to local services in many parts of the country.

“Without this investment, it is more and more challenging to deliver the best outcomes for children, young people and their families, let alone deliver the national target of ensuring 70,000 more children receive treatment for their mental illness by 2021.

“The college calls upon commissioners to revisit their planned spend in this vital yet chroncially underfunded area.”

But health bosses in Bexley claim spending is on the up.

A spokesperson for NHS Bexley Clinical Commissioning Group, which sets the budget for NHS spending in the borough, said: “Mental health is a priority for the CCG. Investment into these services has increased following the publication of the CCG and Bexley council’s transformation plan for children and young peoples’ mental health and emotional wellbeing.

“The overall aim in Bexley is to develop early intervention services for children and young people in terms of child welfare generally, and mental health and emotional wellbeing specifically. For mental health the vision is to develop the clinical outreach to universal and targeted settings in order to ensure there is help for emotional health and wellbeing.”

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