Continue We want you to get the most out of using this website, which is why we and our partners use cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to receive these cookies. You can find out more about how we use cookies here.

Thursday, 02 July 2015

Subscriptions  |  evouchers  |  Jobs  |  Property  |  Motors  |  Travel  |  Dating  |  Family Notices

Cumbria families’ fears over mental health needs

SEVEN in ten families in Cumbria have not been able to access mental health support in times of crisis, worrying new figures reveal.

Statistics released by the Furness branch of the National Autistic Society following a survey of 128 families paint a disturbing picture.

They have led parents of children with autism to criticise the county’s Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services for failing to meet their needs.

The figures reveal one in five families had to wait more than five months to receive an appointment after being referred to the service from other agencies.

Half of the parents polled were also concerned that professionals did not have an adequate understanding of autism and did not know how to communicate effectively with their child.

It is estimated that 71 per cent of children with autism have an accompanying mental health problem, which is why support by CAMHS is vital for a child’s emotional wellbeing.

Emma Shepherd, NAS policy and participation Officer for the North, said the survey results were worrying.

She said: “Local families have sent a clear message that CAMHS in Cumbria is not meeting the mental health needs of local children affected by autism.

“We recognise that CAMHS in Cumbria, like other public services, are under pressure, and appreciate that they are struggling to recruit staff but it’s vital that these problems are addressed as soon as possible and before children fall into crisis.

“As well as bringing down waiting lists, CAHMS in Cumbria must provide more autism training for staff and take on more autism specialists so that staff are able to recognise the needs of children with autism, communicate with them and treat them effectively.”

Cumbria Partnership NHS Foundation Trust admits a waiting list for diagnosis and appointments has built up. The trust has also reported difficulties in recruiting staff for CAHMS.

Dr Neela Shabde, clinical director for children and families at NHS Cumbria Clinical Commission Group, said several improvements were being carried out to the service.

She said: “There are long-standing concerns with the provision of CAMHS in Cumbria that were identified in a 2012 review.

“Since then, a major investment of time, energy and finance has followed.

“The tier three CAMH service (specialist multi-disciplinary teams) is now staffed at the level recommended in the review and the mix of skills has been enhanced significantly.

“However, change on this scale inevitably takes time to bed in and clearly there is some way to go before everyone who needs a service from CAMHS gets the service they need and would like.”

Consumer health champion Healthwatch Cumbria has also been alerted to the situation and is looking into possible responses.

Have your say

Be the first to comment on this article!

Make your comment

Your name

Your Email

Your Town/City

Your comment


North West Evening Mail What's on search

Powered by

Hot Jobs

Loading latest hot jobs...
Powered by Zoopla.co.uk

Featured companies

Searching for featured companies...
Search for:


Is it time to rethink who sits in the House of Lords?



Show Result

Resource Cumbria

The Forum

F. Dickinson footwear

Homes and gardens 22

To save our contact details direct to your smartphone simply scan this QR code

North West Evening Mail

Evening Mail Going Out