The government’s flagship proposals for improving mental health care for young people will leave hundreds of thousands of children without the support they desperately need, MPs have warned.
A damning report by two select committees, Education and Health and Social Care, said the government’s strategy lacks ambition and fails to take into account the needs of the most vulnerable groups.
The slow rollout of the government’s plans means support will only reach between a fifth and a quarter of the country by 2022-23, which provides no help to the majority of children in need of it.
And the cross-party report said the government’s approach – of rolling it out in “trailblazer areas” – may lead to increased inequality in provision if staff move to areas where services are better.
Under the £300m plans – set out in the government’s green paper in December – schools and colleges are required to appoint and train a “mental health lead” to ensure pupils access support services.
Mental health support teams will also be created as part of the government’s proposals to improve linkups between schools and the NHS to improve early intervention services.
But MPs said it fails to look at how to prevent child mental ill health, and a lack of “substantive plans” for young people transferring to adult mental health services is “disappointing”.