Child Mental Health Issues Now Tackled Twice As Fast In Norwich

The waiting time between a child seeing a GP and being assessed by an NHS specialist is now just 16 days on average, down from 35 in 2014/15.

By Pollyanna, 14, Norwich · April 9, 2020

Pic: Shutterstock

Children and adolescents in Norwich are now being seen by specialist NHS mental health services twice as fast as they were five years ago.

The average waiting time for under 18s following a GP appointment, to being assessed by a specialist mental health service in the city, fell from 35 days in 2014/15 to just 16 in 2018/19.

Adults are also waiting less time for support, with the average waiting time of 27 days dropping to 23 days since 2014/15.

The number of beds for child inpatient care has also improved, from 7 in 2016 to 12 in 2019. However, the amount of available beds for adult inpatient care has fallen year on year for the last four years, from 433 in 2015 to 407 in 2019.

The findings were sourced via a Freedom of Information request by the media literacy charity The Student View. The improvement follows the launch of the NHS Future in Mind programme in 2015, a “report that would set out what needs to be done to improve how children’s mental wellbeing can be supported and, when in distress and ill, receive good, timely care.”

Why did a student cover this story?

Pollyanna, 14, from Norwich, said: “I chose this subject to write my article on because I have witnessed multiple members of my family and friends suffer from multiple and ranging mental health issues. It is important to me because somebody’s mental health determines their future: for example, somebody with anxiety would not feel content socialising with other people, but communicating between one another is extremely important, so the rise of mental health problems could cause a severe problem in society later.”

How did it make our journalist feel?

“The answers I got made feel a little confused at the start. However, once I recognised what was happening, I was satisfied with the answer that I got.”

If you are experiencing difficulties that you think may be related to your mental health, please seek help. Call NHS 111, or click here for support from The Samaritans, or here for support from Mind.