Despite a much heralded £1.4 billion investment in children’s mental health services, it seems that the government and the NHS have a blind spot when it comes to dedicated services for abused children in the UK.
The charity NSPCC have carried out new research which reveals the lack of focus that seems to be evident when dealing with children who have suffered sexual abuse. Around one third of the “Local Transformation Plans” on which local NHS commissioners base their budgets and investment needs, have failed to boost the flagging mental health services for young vulnerable abuse victims. Many children receive no care until they reach crisis point by which time preventative measures can be ineffective leading to more expensive intervention. The Local Transformation Plans are in effect a blueprint for local NHS services to set out how they intend to spend governments allocated funds. The NSPCC looked at what these plans offered for victims of abuse and they unearthed the following headline statistics:
Only 14% of plans considered the needs for support of all children who’ve experienced abuse or neglect.
1 third of plans fail to mention any provision of services for children who’ve experienced abuse or neglect.
This means 3.89 million children (34% of children in England) live in an area where the local plan doesn’t mention services for children who’ve experienced abuse or neglect.
The charity have demanded reform and are lobbying for support to get the government and local NHS commissioners to fill this gap in crucial support services.