The government will spend £150m over the next 5 years to improve support for young people with eating disorders, deputy prime minister Nick Clegg announced today.
Clegg said children with mental health problems are often completely let down: “We need to act now to transform the current system, intervening earlier with dedicated and targeted community-based services to ensure that we don’t fail this generation or the next.”
The government said the funding will deliver swifter access to evidence-based community treatment, fewer transfers to adult services, better transitions for young people with eating disorders, and a more standardised level of provision.
The money will fund support schemes to get children who have eating disorders and self-harm early access to community services and give young people a choice of evidence-based therapies.
Funding should pave the way for developing waiting time and access standards for support for children with eating disorders by 2016.
A Cabinet Office spokeswoman said money was new and would not be taken from existing funding pots: “It’s not contingent on reducing a budget elsewhere. So in the long term the aim will probably be to have less people being hospitalised but that might take some time so it’s more about encouraging talking therapies and getting that more local level of care.”