Spending on children’s mental health up but services remain variable

Child and adolescent mental health services have seen significant increases in expenditure, staffing and caseloads, but considerable local variations in services remain, the government said today.

Releasing its annual Cahms mapping exercise, the Department of Health said expenditure budgets rose by 19 per cent from 2004-5 to 2005-6, above an NHS target of 10 per cent.

The total number of staff rose by 11 per cent, to almost 10,000 whole time equivalents, from 2004 to 2005, while caseloads rose by 8 per cent to almost 113,000.

However, care services minister Ivan Lewis warned there were still considerable variations in access to and waiting lists for services across England.

He added: “It is important that the improvements are carried on and that work continues to develop in those areas of service which remain unsatisfactory.”

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