Hart: CAMHS’ national plan “will be developed by May”

Health and Social Services Minister Edwina Hart AM has confirmed that a national action plan to help address “urgent” issues concerning the quality of services for young people with emotional and mental health needs in Wales will be ready by May.

Calls for a national plan were first outlined in a November 2009 report published jointly by Healthcare Inspectorate Wales, the Wales Audit Office, Estyn, and Care and Social Services Inspectorate Wales. The report’s authors strongly recommended that a plan should be developed “within six months”.

However doubts over whether the plan would be complete on time were raised in January when NHS Wales Chief Executive Paul Williams told the National Assembly for Wales’ Public Accounts Committee that the task of devising a plan had not yet been set and that it “may take a little longer” than May. When asked by Committee Chair Jonathan Morgan AM if the plan would be significantly delayed Mr Williams said “it was difficult to say”.

The matter was clarified during a Senedd debate on Wednesday when the Minister said: “A group of expert stakeholders has been established to develop the national programme for CAMHS by May 2010. The director of health and social services put all the stakeholders together to get a national plan and that will involve the local health boards’ chief executives, local authorities and directors of social services. As envisaged the plan will be developed by May which will give us the opportunity to look at the plan and its delivery.”

To view the questions put to the Health Minister this week please visit: http://www.assemblywales.org/bus-home/bus-chamber/bus-chamber-third-assembly-rop.htm?act=dis&id=170523&ds=3/2010#q1

To read the jointly published report “Services for children and young people with emotional and mental health needs” please visit: http://www.wao.gov.uk/assets/englishdocuments/CAMHS_eng.pdf