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Up to £36m would be needed to treat all children with mental health issues in Norfolk

PUBLISHED: 16:19 20 July 2017 | UPDATED: 16:19 20 July 2017

Mental health. Pictured: A woman consoled by her friend. Picture: Newscast Online

Mental health. Pictured: A woman consoled by her friend. Picture: Newscast Online

Newscast Online

Up to an extra £36m would be needed to provide mental health support for all children and young people who need it in Norfolk, it has been revealed.

Mental health. Pictured: A woman consoled by her friend. Picture: Newscast OnlineMental health. Pictured: A woman consoled by her friend. Picture: Newscast Online

Commissioners for child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS) were summoned before Norfolk County Council’s Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee (HOSC) today, Thursday, to answer questions on waiting times.

But it was revealed that while mental health services are currently hitting the target set by government on how many children and young people they should be reaching, they would need to treble their funding to reach them all.

Nationally, it is expected that by 2020/21 that services should reach at least 35pc of children and young people with a diagnosable condition.

CAHMS strategic commissioner Jonathan Stanley said already in Norfolk between 30 - 35pc were reached, but south Norfolk councillor Nigel Legg asked what would be needed to reach all those who needed help.

Mr Stanley said: “We could do with two to three times the funding currently spend on children’s mental health, then we could make a heck of a difference.

“We currently spend in the region of £15-18m across the CCGs and county council.”

He added: “But we need to recognise the pressures within the system, we have to manage within the means have.”

However Broadland councillor Lana Hempsall said: “I don’t think we would get away with only seeing 35pc of people with diagnosed cancer.

“So if anything we need to see that number increase to at least in the 80s.”

Councillors were also concerned about the use of extra funding given by NHS England, which agenda papers for the meeting said was intended for children’s mental health.

The clinical commissioning groups had already committed to investing £1.9m extra per year.

However the NHS England cash - which brought the total budget available up to £3.9m - was not ring-fenced and “had to be considered against all other service cost pressures”.

But it could not be confirmed how much of the money had been used, or where.

Councillors resolved to approach the county’s five clinical commissioning groups for more information.

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