Mental health services for children in England are stuck in the dark ages and need a complete overhaul the Care Minister Norman Lamb has said.
The Liberal Democrat minister said thousands of children are being let down by “institutional bias” within the NHS.
Currently young people suffering from conditions including depression and schizophrenia are being cut off from services they desperately need said Mr Lamb.
Government cuts to funding in the NHS have disproportionately affected mental health services for both adults and children compared with other services.
Many children have been forced to move to hospitals far from home to have their ongoing mental health care provided as nearly half of local authorities have slashed funding for the services.
Mr Lamb announced that a new task force made up of experts on children’s mental health and former service users will make recommendations for a shake-up of services.
He added: “There needs to be the same focus on mental health as there is on cancer services, stroke services, knee replacements and so on.”
The new task force will make recommendations on improving mental health commissioning for young people, reforming services to end the “cliff edge” which occurs when young people move from under-18 care to adult services.