GPs face growing pressure on child mental health referrals as CCGs impose further cuts

CCGs are making cuts to the funding of child and adolescent mental health services, despite concerns from GPs that services are already overstretched, a Pulse investigation has revealed.

Information obtained through a Freedom of Information request has revealed that 33 (77%) out of 43 CCGs are applying 1.8% cuts to their child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS) budgets in 2014/15.

This is in line with NHS guidance on payments, which has stipulated CCGs should make a 20% bigger cut in mental health and other non-acute services than in acute sector services, but ministers have told Pulse that CCGs should not be bound to the efficiency target, while commissioning leads have called on CCGs to reject the guidance and invest more money into CAMHS.

GP leaders have said that practices in some areas are already frustrated by problems with trying to refer young patients for specialist help for mental health problems, and the cuts will only make this worse.

For full article see Pulse Today 24 April 2014