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Thursday, 29 May 2014

Review critical of mental health provision in Cornwall

Written by The Editorial Team

Mental health services for children and young people in Cornwall have been criticised in a Review of Child and Adolescent Mental Health services.

The review, produced by the council's scrutiny committee, found that hospitals do not have enough beds while staff do not have enough knowledge about whether patients are getting better or not.

The Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS), run by the Cornwall Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, blamed budget and staff constraints.

Dr Liz Myers, a consultant child psychiatrist at CAMHS, told BBC News she was driven to tears by the report, which she says is unfair.

"I am not reassured that there's a real understanding of the pressures and complexities being faced by doctors and other mental health professionals trying to deliver high quality mental health services to young people in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly," said Dr Myers.

A spokesperson from CAMHS said the service needed an extra £800,000 a year, on top of its current £5.2 million annual budget, to pay for a further 19 staff.

NHS Kernow is Cornwall's Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), which is the GP body responsible for procuring health services on behalf of patients.

CCGs largely replaced primary care trusts in 2012.

Barbara Gregory, NHS Kernow's chief finance officer, said: "We are always looking at how we can improve services for children and young people in Cornwall and welcome the recommendations of the Health and Social Care Scrutiny Committee."

To download the report, visit: