The state of children’s mental health services – Local area maps

These maps present 2018/19 Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) levels of five key indicators used to assess children’s mental health services (CYPMHS) provision in each area. These indicators are:

  • CCG spend on children’s mental health as a percentage of overall CCG budget.
  • Mental health spend per child calculated using NHS Five Year Forward View (FYFV) spending figures and ONS mid 2017 CCG population estimates.
  • The total number of children referred to CYPMHS as a proportion of the under-18 population.
  • Average waiting time for children who receive a second contact with CYPMHS.
  • The percentage of referrals to CYPMHS that are closed before treatment.
  • An overall score for each CCG based on the indicators above. Further details on how this is calculated are available in the accompanying technical report

These figures are based on two key sources provided by NHS digital and NHS England: the NHS Mental Health Services Dataset (MHSDS) and the Five Year Foward View (FYFV) dashboard. More detail on sources and the methodology for calculating these figures is available in the accompanying technical report.

NHS Clinical Commissioning Group maps


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Limitations of this data

This data only includes figures for NHS-commissioned CYPMHS and will not cover low-level mental health provision such as school-based counselling or those provided by other organisations. Given how three of the indicators in our summary score relate to CYPMHS waiting times, access and referral rates, CCGs that spend heavily on low-level services at the expense of more formal CYPMHS provision may find that our scoring system undervalues their investment. To mitigate this, we have included two different spending measures in our analysis.

A child is counted as accessing treatment if they have a second contact with CYPMHS services. In most cases, a child’s first contact is an initial assessment for whether they require further CAMH services while a child’s second contact usually designates the start of treatment. However, in some cases, a child may have more than one contact before treatment begins, and in other cases treatment may be delivered in one contact without need for further support. Thus, we cannot confidently state that in all cases, those accessing CYPMHS are actually receiving treatment nor that those only receiving one contact did not have their needs met. However, this is the best proxy measure we have as there are no other reliable estimates available for the numbers of young people currently in treatment.

Children who had their referrals closed may not have required specialist treatment or may have been referred to services provided by other organisations such as charities, social care or non-NHS commissioned healthcare practices. Some children may also have chosen not to enter treatment even when offered or advised.

Some children may have been referred near the end of the 2018/19 financial year but enter treatment early in the following year. These children would be shown in the data as “still awaiting treatment” despite not having waited particularly long.

Not all providers of mental health services submitted data to the MHSDS in 2018/19. Though the number of providers submitting data has improved over the past two years (106 in 2017/18 compared to 171 in 2018/19), the figures presented here will not be complete due to underreporting. However, this is still the best representation of mental health services data that we have available.