More funding is needed to tackle the ‘postcode lottery’ of children’s mental health, a report which rated Waltham Forest poorly has said.

The report from the Children’s Commissioner gave NHS Waltham Forest CCG a score of 10 out of 25 for the standard of its provision.

The Children’s Commissioner has warned that children’s mental health service provision in England is a “postcode lottery” and a “decade away” from achieving decent standards across the board.

London Assembly Member for Waltham Forest, Jennette Arnold OBE AM, is urging the Government to fund improvements.

Figures from the State of Children’s Mental Health Services report show children in Waltham Forest wait 24 days, on average, to access mental health services and 41 per cent of referrals are closed before treatment is provided.

Ms Arnold said it is “grossly unjust” that some “children in our community are unable to receive the same mental health support and care as those in other parts of the capital.”

A spokesperson for the East London Health and Care Partnership – a joint enterprise of which Waltham Forest CCG is a part of – said: “There has been a significant amount of new investment for children and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS) as part of the NHS Long Term Plan. At a north east London-wide level, we are planning to achieve all national expectations for children’s mental health and are monitoring spend on CAMHS closely.

“As part of our joint working across north east London, we are able to spread good practice from other areas and will be monitoring improvements closely with partners.”

Ms Arnold added: “It is grossly unjust that some of the most vulnerable children in our community are unable to receive the same mental health support and care as those in other parts of the capital.

“We must take action to end this postcode lottery which is letting young people down and leaving them at needless risk.

“Most of all, the Government needs to fairly fund NHS mental health care and council services, so that essential priorities are not in competition for resources. The next budget will be a test of the Government’s commitment to children’s mental health. Local NHS bodies also need to make sure children’s mental health care is top of the agenda if new funding is announced”.

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