More than 25,000 children in Cambridgeshire have been abused or neglected new research reveals
- Credit: Archant
More than 25,000 children in Cambridgeshire who have been abused or neglected are not covered by adequate NHS plans for their mental health needs, the NSPCC has revealed.
The UK’s leading charity in child protection analysed the latest annual plans published by NHS Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) which set out how they will care for children’s mental health.
Cambridgeshire and Peterborough CCG received an amber rating for the second year running which means action is needed to improve the plan for the county’s estimated 25,896 children who have been abused or neglected.
Research also found that across England, 88 per cent were failing to properly plan for the needs of vulnerable children including those who had been abused.
All 195 CCGs in England were given a traffic light rating by the NSPCC and for 2017/18, 146 were rated amber and 21 were rated red.
This means that an estimated 1.3 million abused children in England are living in an area with inadequate plans for their mental health needs, or with no plans for their care whatsoever.
In addition, half of CCGs have stagnated and received a red or amber rating for the second year running, with no apparent improvements in planning for the mental health needs of abused children.
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The NSPCC is now calling on all NHS CCGs to urgently recognise and plan for the increased mental health needs of children who have been abused.
Almudena Lara, NSPCC’s head of policy and public affairs, said: “We recognise the hard work of NHS staff providing much-needed mental health services to young people. These ratings are not a reflection on those services and the staff working to deliver them.
“But our analysis shows that there are CCGs across England that are still not properly planning for the mental health needs of abused children and young people. It is crucial these children are supported to get back on track and lead healthy lives.
In 2016/17, one in three Childline counselling sessions related to mental and emotional health and wellbeing issues.
In 36 per cent of Childline counselling sessions where abuse was the main concern, the young person also discussed their mental and emotional health, suicidal feelings or self-harm.