Will Forster

Former Mayor of Woking and Lib Dem Councillor for South Woking Learn more

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Surrey Lib Dems call for CAMHS improvements

by willforster on 7 July, 2018

My Lib Dem colleagues at County Hall and I are calling for urgent improvements to Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services, known as CAMHS, in the county.

Surrey County Council currently commissions these services from Surrey and Borders NHS Trust, but there has been strong criticism of the long waiting times for routine assessments and appointments – so we are tabling a motion on CAMHS at Tuesday’s Full Council meeting.

There is an urgent moral and practical need to improve CAMHS services in Surrey so that vulnerable young people get the help they need and quickly.  Councillors across Surrey are regularly receiving emails from distraught parents and carers who are trying to get appointments and treatment for children and young people, but cannot.  The lack of urgency, and failure to monitor and enforce a contract, is quite shocking – the County Council has not invoked any penalty clauses, nor have any payments been withheld.  We can and must do much better than this, and the County Council should not rule out procuring the service from elsewhere.

We need a long-term solution to the increased demand for these services, which alongside a reduction in the level of resources available, has led to real problems.  The Lib Dems are calling for Surrey County Council to establish a research partnership with the University Of Surrey, to help the County Council understand why demand is rising and to be able to plan CAMHS services and resources much more effectively in the future.  We owe it to children and young people across Surrey to get these crucial services right.

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