Simon Stevens announced that a new taskforce will be provided to make improvements in services for children and young people with mental illnesses, autism spectrum disorder and learning disabilities. The new programme will concentrate on boosting community services and reducing the over reliance on inpatient care. The taskforce will include doctors, nurses, psychologists, psychiatrists and other medical professionals. Main tasks of the group will be to improve care and set recommendations for next steps. The group will be also asked about their ideas of best ways of delivering compassionate care for acute needs, which includes managing issues (i. e. seclusion) in inpatient conditions, or providing clinical expertise for the staff.
Simon Stevens, NHS chief executive said: “This taskforce will place a spotlight on services and care for some of the most vulnerable young people in our society, bringing together families, leading clinicians, charities, and other public bodies to help make these services as effective, safe and supportive as possible for thousands of families.“
“The NHS Long Term Plan lays out a package of measures which will mean more than two million extra children and adults get the mental health care they need and while early intervention to stop ill health escalating is a priority, we are also determined to provide the strongest possible safety net for families living with the most acute conditions.”
S. Steven also promised the support for the new taskforce from Anne Longfield OBE (the Children's Commissioner for England) and her board. A. Longfield said: “Research published by my office earlier this year found that far too many children are stuck in hospital for months or even years when they do not need to be there. I am pleased that this taskforce has been announced to change this unacceptable situation, and I am delighted to Chair this Independent Oversight Group to amplify the voice of these children and their families, scrutinise progress and hold the system to account.”
Some of the hospitals (such as Ferndene in Northumberland) could be already examples of good practice, thus NHS predicts the current standards to improve. £2.3 billion is allocated for the programme.