CQC logoCare regulator the Care Quality Commission (CQC) is to carry out a major thematic review of child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS) in England, after being asked to by Prime Minister Theresa May.

May made the call, with the aim of identifying what is and isn’t working well in CAMHS, in a speech to the Charity Commission on January 9, where she also outlined plans to reform mental health care.

The CQC will take this review forward this work in discussion with other agencies and inspectorates, and expects to report on its findings in 2017/18.

Dr Paul Lelliott, CQC's deputy chief inspector of hospitals (lead for mental health), said: “We know from our own inspections of all mental health services in England that there are problems with the quality of care that children and adolescents receive. These include long waiting times for assessment and treatment and difficulty accessing inpatient care close to home for those who need it.

“Through our inspection and ratings, we are holding mental health services to account. However, good mental healthcare for young people is about much more than the work of these specialised services. It requires all those responsible for healthcare, social care and education to work together to identify mental health problems early and to provide the support and care that young people need to attain and maintain good mental health.

“Our thematic review will identify the strengths and weaknesses of the current system to support young people's mental health and help us better understand the pathways that children with mental health issues follow and the obstacles that they face.”