From wish list to reality

The “List of Standards” that begins the newly published children’s
National Service Framework reads like a counsel of perfection. It
is tempting to say “wishlist” of standards, though on the plus side
the timeframes are generous; after three years in the making, the
standards are supposed to be implemented over 10 years. Every
aspect of childhood is covered, from health and well-being, through
parenting and hospital care to disability and maternity services.

Standard 9, dealing with mental health, will be one of the most
demanding. It calls for all children to have access to “timely,
integrated, high quality multidisciplinary mental health services
to ensure effective assessment, treatment and support”. When we ran
our Changing Minds campaign for better child and adolescent mental
health services two years ago, while one in five children had a
mental health problem, only one in five of those who needed help
got it.

The NSF aspires to a comprehensive service, available 24/7 and able
to respond the next day if a child’s needs are urgent. To get from
here to there will take considerable time, determination and
investment. It is a wish that the NSF task force has every right to

More from Community Care

Comments are closed.