Young people at risk in Cumbria due to failing mental health service

  • Young people in Cumbria face higher risks of self-harm and suicide due to the NHS trust being unable to tackle issues such as long waiting times says the National Autistic Society. mentalhealth.jpg

    The National Autistic Society has said that serious systemic failings in mental health services for young people are putting patients at risk in Cumbria, reports the Guardian.

    They are calling on the Care Quality Commission to conduct an urgent inspection and have appealed to NHS England to review commissioning arrangements in the county.

    The NAS said it has “lost faith” in the ability of the Cumbria Partnership NHS trust to resolve problems that have included long waits for appointments, complaints over the frequency of followups and problems for families trying to access help in crises.

    In a letter to Simon Stevens, head of NHS England, the NAS chief executive, Mark Lever, wrote that it was concerned about the support the local service “offers to all children, not just those with autism”.

    David Blacklock, chief executive of Healthwatch Cumbria, said: “We will continue to keep the situation under review and will take further steps if we receive evidence to suggest that improvements are not being made quickly enough. We are aware that some of the challenges will take time to overcome, however. It really is very important that if people have further poor experiences that they share these with us.”

    Local NHS commissioners also said there was “a long-term programme of change and we know that we have more to do”

    The Care Quality Commission said it would carry out an already planned inspection of the trust in November, during which it would consider the NAS information. It said: “We are committed to ensuring that everyone receives care that is safe, high-quality and compassionate.”

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