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Bromley health officials hit back at Labour over funding for children's mental health services

PUBLISHED: 14:01 30 November 2016 | UPDATED: 09:43 01 December 2016

Mental health spending is set to rise

Mental health spending is set to rise

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Labour has claimed there is a 'postcode lottery' in spending and urged officials to change course

Health officials in Bromley have hit back at a claim by the Labour Party that the borough is not spending enough on mental health services for young people.

London Assembly Labour group claims just £39.84 per head is spent on children and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS) in Bromley, and urged officials to reconsider the level of investment.

The party’s claim of a CAMHS ‘postcode lottery’ followed an independent report stating that nearly a quarter of children who are referred for treatment are being turned away from front-line services.

But a spokesperson for NHS Bromley Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) disputed the figures, which are based on research carried out by the Royal College of Psychiatrists

They claimed a more accurate estimate, which includes transformation funding, is £46.29.

“It must be noted that these figures relate only to CCG expenditure on CAMHS services,” the spokesperson said.

“The London Borough of Bromley and NHS England also commission and invest in emotional health and mental wellbeing services for children and young people.”

Claire Ely, director of mental health charity Bromley Y, argued that simply boosting the level of funding is not necessarily the answer.

“I do not believe more money necessarily makes a difference,” she said. “We want huge change within the system and a more early intervention approach.

“It is about more innovative ways you can support young people.

“Our referrals are going up but we feel very supported by the local authority.

“We still want huge change, but I can see it gradually happening.”

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