Success for Surrey Lib Dems as CAMHS proposals are unanimously agreed

July 11, 2018 3:24 PM
Originally published by Surrey County Council Lib Dems

County HallCounty Councillors in Surrey have agreed that children's mental health and special needs provision should be the subject of detailed study in partnership with universities and others so that current and future demand for these services can be met. Cllr Chris Botten, Leader of the Lib Dems at SCC moved an amended motion at yesterday's Council meeting, which was passed unanimously, calling for future needs to be understood in the context of current unacceptable waiting lists for CAMHS treatment and a severe shortage of SEND places in the County.

Cllr Botten said:" I was delighted that the whole council supported the amended motion and shared my deep concern that children's mental health needs were the subject of deplorable waits and that so many children had special needs which could not be met as demand for these services exceeded capacity. We need to understand demand properly so that children can access the services they need in a timely manner, relieving the anxiety of children and their families. I was pleased that councillors shared my anger and outrage at the current situation and pleased that they were keen to work to resolve it. I will continue to press for these changes until the situation improves."

Cllr Angela Goodwin, who seconded the motion, said: "Urgent change and transformation are phrases we are hearing a lot here at County Hall at the moment but nowhere is that urgent change more needed than in the CAMHS service that children and young people are trying to access here in Surrey. We desperately need waiting times for appointments to be reduced and for services to improve. By partnering with other organisations and carrying out research, we can try and plan for future demand, but we also need to hold our health partners to account for the services we are paying them to provide."


The wording of the amended motion, passed unanimously at Council on Tuesday 10th July, was as follows:

Council recognises that demand for a number of services, including CAMHS and for Special Needs such as Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), has grown at a considerable rate, which no-one foresaw.

Council further acknowledges that the existing CAMHS service does not fully meet the high expectations that we have for our children, young people and their families. The interim plan is in place to support the existing service and is being closely monitored to ensure that vulnerable children's needs can be met.

Council notes that in order to deliver the sustainable vision for 2030 it is essential that demand for such crucial services is understood and anticipated so that children and young people can access the right help at the right time.

Accordingly, Council resolves to establish partnerships, including with the University of Surrey to research and evaluate the drivers of demand for specialist services with the intention of creating a world-leading source of expertise in predicting and managing demand for these crucial services between now and 2030.