£7.6m funding for mental health services for young people in Wales
An investment of £7.6m a year will be used to improve mental health services in Wales for young people.
The money will be used to help improve areas of concern, says Health Minister Mark Drakeford, which includes out of hours help and access to psychological treatment, reports the BBC.
The money is an 18% rise on last year’s £42.8m Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service budget.
Mr Drakeford said that while money alone was not the answer for all challenges facing the NHS, the changes the Welsh government was seeking to make were the “most significant for many years”.
The Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH), which represents doctors in child health, said demand for the service had long been outstripping supply. Dr Mair Parry, officer for Wales, said this often meant children faced long waiting times, had to travel long distances for support or some missed out on care altogether, which she said “can be disastrous.”
But Welsh Liberal Democrat leader Kirsty Williams has expressed reservations. “It’s all very well putting the resources in, but unless they’re put in in a way that is really going to make a difference, is going to be effective, then we won’t get value for money and the people who really need the money won’t get the help they need in a timely fashion,” she said.
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