Socialist Party
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25 October 2017

Kids wait 18 months for mental healthcare

Kick out cutters and profiteers

James Hunter, South Tyne and Wear Socialist Party

Children suffering from mental health problems, such as anxiety and depression, have to wait up to 18 months after referral to access care.

Even then there are further waiting times before children finally receive treatment, indicates a condemning report by NHS watchdog CQC.

One in five are told they cannot be seen within a reasonable timeframe, according to Young Minds. This includes anorexic children in England, who can be a dangerously low weight before receiving referral.

Overstretched child and adolescent services force some families to seek out private healthcare in desperation.


These catastrophic delays are caused by intentional, chronic underfunding and understaffing of the NHS, as well as privatisation through PFI schemes and vultures like Virgin Care.

Mental illnesses benefit from early intervention - a collaborative approach that seeks to act as soon as possible before the onset of irreversible damage. Austerity will no doubt have contributed to the spike in the number of children self-harming.

The number of young people admitted to A&E with a psychiatric condition has more than doubled since the Conservatives took power in 2010. Record numbers now seek help from children's helplines over suicidal thoughts - up 15% from last year.

The Socialist Party says: kick out the bloodsuckers - scrap all PFIs! No more children to suffer for the sake of corporate profit and Tory greed!

Fund a fully nationalised health service, run under democratic workers' control and management, and free at the point of use. A socialist NHS could provide for everyone's needs at all times - no exceptions!

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