Tens of thousands of abused and neglected children across Bucks are not receiving adequate mental health care, a national charity has warned.

Children’s charity NSPCC has called for the NHS to take “urgent action”, after revealing there are an estimated 16,966 abused children across the county.

An NSPCC investigation found Chiltern and Aylesbury Vale Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCG) both failed to produce “adequate” mental health plans in 2017/18 for vulnerable children.

The charity also gave all 195 CCGs across the country a traffic light rating, with both Aylesbury Vale and Chiltern among the 21 groups which were branded “red” - suggesting they "failed to recognise" that abused children are more vulnerable to mental health problems.

A total of 146 CCGs were given “amber” ratings – which means more can be done to improve mental health plans

Figures unearthed by the NSPCC found there are an estimated 1.3 million abused or neglected children in England are not receiving adequate mental health care.

A lack of appropriate mental health plan for vulnerable children means they are twice as likely to develop depression when they are an adult, according to the charity.

Head of policy and public affairs at NSPCC, Almudena Lara, said: “We recognise the hard work of NHS staff providing much-needed mental health services to young people. These ratings are not a reflection on those services and the staff working to deliver them.

“But our analysis shows that there are CCGs across the England that are still not properly planning for the mental health needs of abused children and young people. It is crucial these children are supported to get back on track and lead healthy lives.

“In future we want to see more CCGs not only recognise the needs of these children, but go further and ensure services are there to support them.”

Buckinghamshire CCG – which formed in April after merging the Aylesbury Vale and Chiltern services – has branded the findings “disappointing” and insisted there is “good” mental health care for children in the county.

Mental health and learning disability clinical director for Bucks CCG, Dr Sian Roberts, said the rating “does not reflect the work being done” to support children and young people across the county who have experienced abuse and neglect.

She said: “The NSPCC report is an assessment of the annual update of our 2015 Local Transformation Plan and is not an assessment of existing service provision or wider local plans

“Our mental health plans do refer to children and young people who have suffered abuse and sexual assault, and we absolutely recognise how important this is.

“For example, we have an established link between CAMHS and the Sexual Assault Referral Centres and the Swan Team, who support those who may have been sexually exploited.

“We would like to reassure our population that we provide good, accessible mental health services for all children in Bucks, including those who have experienced abuse or neglect.”

Anyone concerned about a child who may be experiencing abuse is asked to contact CAMHS through the website https://www.oxfordhealth.nhs.uk/camhs/bucks/ or call 01865 901951.