NSF urges better mental health services for children

Better mental health services for children from birth until
their 18th birthday is among the standards set out in the National
Service Framework unveiled by the government this week,
writes Sally Gillen.

The document, which has been delayed nine months, says local
services must make arrangements for 24-hour cover, and mental
health assessments must be undertaken within a day when the
child’s needs are urgent.

Specialist support for children’s mental health in early
years must also be provided and children and young people should be
cared for in appropriate and safe settings, says the report.

The NSF, which sets out a 10-year plan for improvements in
children’s health and social care services, sets out 11

The Royal Colleges of Nursing and Paediatrics and Child Health
have welcomed the NSF, but have warned that if its implementation
is left to local discretion some areas may have more difficulty
implementing the standards.

President of the RCPCH Alan Craft said: “Finally the NHS
has been given the green light to improve services for children and
their families. We urge all families, and people working with
children to take the opportunity to use standards to push for
better services for children.”

Unlike other NSFs, such as the one for mental health, this one
does not attach deadlines for implementation to each standard.


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