Children's mental health out of hours service decommissioned

The children’s mental health out of hours service has been decommissioned with no service in place from 1 July according to a report taken at a recent Board meeting of Barnet’s Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG).

The report states that there is a “risk approximately for up to 150 children annually resulting in safeguarding issue [sic], increased admissions and delayed discharges from hospital” and goes on to say that children would need 1:1 nursing care in an inpatient hospital setting if the out of hours service is not available “resulting in unspecified financial costs.”

The out of hours service was apparently decommissioned after Barnet CCG ceased to be part of the 9 borough arrangement that commissioned the service, and no new arrangements for a replacement service have been taken forward.

The report also states that “the CCG has agreed to increase funding from £25k to £90k to enable a pilot project to establish the need of the out of hours service as data was unavailable from the previous provider.”

Barnet Labour Group’s Health Spokesperson, Cllr Barry Rawlings, has called for the issue to be discussed as an urgent item at the forthcoming meeting of the Health Overview & Scrutiny Committee on 6th July.

The Care Quality Commission, the national regulator for care standards in England, published a report on 12 June on people’s experience of care during a mental health crisis which found that the quality of care varied and that the system was "struggling to cope".

Cllr Rawlings said: The decommissioning of this service and its impact on very vulnerable children is very worrying – the Health Scrutiny Committee must be told what the situation is as a matter of urgency.

“The risks seem to mean that children would need 1:1 nursing care in inpatient settings at an unspecified cost.

“Locally there are no places in children’s wards so they may either have to be placed in adult wards or sent out of London away from family and support networks.”

Ends.

Notes: 
1. For details of the next Health Overview & Scrutiny meeting on 6 July see:

http://barnet.moderngov.co.uk/ieListDocuments.aspx?CId=179&MId=8371&Ver=4

2. For details of the CQC Report on mental health services see:

http://www.cqc.org.uk/content/new-report-looking-peoples-experience-care-during-mental-health-crisis

3. For BBC coverage of the CQC report see:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-33071069

4. Barnet CCG Governing Body reports for the 25 June meeting can be found here:

http://www.barnetccg.nhs.uk/default.aspx.LocID-02j00b002.Lang-EN.emID-1270.rss-yes.EventID-27352.htm 

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For further details please contact:
Cllr Barry Rawlings: cllr.b.rawlings@barnet.gov.uk 

To contact the Barnet Labour Group: 020 8359 2568

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