Waiting times for mental health services in Milton Keynes are drastically cut

Waiting times for local children and young people's mental health services (CAMHS) have been drastically cut from 28 weeks down to just six weeks in the last eight months. The improvement, which puts Milton Keynes significantly ahead of the national target of 18 weeks, follows the development of a transformational plan to improve care for children and young people with mental health and emotional difficulties.

The plan, which stemmed from a full scale review of the service by NHS Milton Keynes Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and Milton Keynes Council last year, also sees local investment to strengthen the urgent care pathway for children and young people who are in crisis and need urgent access to mental health care.

The processes for monitoring children and young people who need care in a hospital out of area have also been strengthened, with a new protocol to support seamless discharges and transition to community services.

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“We are really pleased to see the positive impact that this review and its outcomes are having on local children and young people experiencing mental health problems,” said Dr Nicola Smith, Chair of NHS Milton Keynes CCG.

“Working as a partnership across health and social care organisations in Milton Keynes has been key to the success of the review and the subsequent improvements to services and we are continuing to build on these successes through joint working.”

Tina Swain is the Service Manager for CAMHS and Life-span Eating disorders at CNWL (Central and North West London NHS Foundation Trust): “Our partnership has assembled everyone’s talents to provide a better service, to more people. We want people to see a difference, and that’s why we are delivering changes by working closely with families and our partners,” she said.

“This will ensure that children and young people in Milton Keynes struggling with mental health problems can access information and advice and be referred as quickly as possible to the best support.”

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Lead Member for Children and Young People, Cllr Zoe Nolan, added; “The Milton Keynes Council Plan sets out our priorities, and improving early diagnosis and addressing mental health problems in children and young people is a key concern.

“It’s vital that these particularly vulnerable young people are seen by the right people at the right time. I’m extremely pleased to see organisations working together to make this happen.”