In the wake of the Scottish drug deaths crisis reporting, repeated 6 times this morning on BBC Breakfast and on the website, we hear:
‘A BBC investigation suggests there’s been a significant rise in number of UK primary schoolchildren referred to mental health services over the last three years’
In the fuller online report, we read:
Referrals to child mental health units from UK primary schools for pupils aged 11 and under have risen by nearly 50% in three years, the BBC has learned. Replies to Freedom of Information (FOI) requests from 46 health trusts indicate they rose from 21,125 to 31,531.
However, none of the examples reported are from outside of England.
There is a worrying increase in referrals reported by Audit Scotland but at the level of 22% over 4 years compared to the 50% over only 3 years being suggested by the RCoP for the UK as a whole.
Mental health services for children and young people are under significant pressure. The number of referrals to specialist services increased by 22 per cent, from 27,271 to 33,270, between 2013/14 and 2017/18, with rejected referrals also increasing.
Footnote: I await a response from the RCoP on access to the full report so that I can access a breakdown of the Scottish responses.