A year-long waiting list for children’s mental health services in Cambridgeshire is expected to fall thanks to a £1.5 million government funding boost.
Young people have been waiting over 12 months to access non-emergency services with some sent to beds in Northampton, Hertfordshire and Essex due to a shortage locally.
The strain on resources comes after general referrals for specialist services increased by 18 per cent in 2014/15.
But the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) is confident that new funding, starting this autumn, and a restructure of the service will bring waiting lists down to 18 weeks. Lee Miller, head of transformation and commissioning for children and maternity at the CCG, said the new funding was “vital.”
He added: “People who use the services will have quicker access and a wider range of services available to them in the future.”
Earlier this year, the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) waiting list was 460 with the longest wait being 77 weeks and the average waiting time around 45 weeks, although the CCG says these figures have now reduced.
Waiting lists also reached 52 weeks for Autistic Spectrum Disorders and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder referrals, forcing the service to temporarily close waiting lists for non-emergency cases.
A spokesman for the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust (CPFT) which provides mental health services in the county, said: “The pressures on some services provided by CAMHS are nationwide and not just experienced in our Peterborough team.
“CPFT has made considerable progress in reducing both waiting lists and waiting times in CAMHS in Peterborough over recent months. We have recently recruited to key permanent posts, as well as temporary roles, to ensure that we continue this good work and more recruitment is planned in the coming months.
“We would like to reassure all patients and their families who are currently on our waiting lists that they will be seen.”