Over 50,000 children across Thames Valley risk inadequate mental health care due to NHS changes.

NSPCC research has discovered that despite improvements to mental health treatment for young people in Bucks that three out of four mental health plans in Thames Valley are not doing enough to help vulnerable children as ‘millions more' children could be put at risk.

The study focused on children who have been abused or neglected who are therefore at a higher risk of later developing mental health problems such as anxiety, depression, eating disorders or PTSD.

In the charity’s analysis, each plan produced by the clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) across England was given a ‘traffic light’ rating for its understanding of the needs of vulnerable children.

For 2018/19 nationally only 18% of plans were rated green, which although still low is a six percent improvement from the figures in 2016/17.

NSPCC Head of Policy Almudena Lara said: “We know there are fantastic mental health services supporting lots of these children up and down the country.

“But it’s not enough, and a system that’s already struggling to properly plan for their mental health needs will render them all but invisible if action isn’t taken now by NHS England.

“Millions more children could be affected unless the NHS ensures that vulnerable young people are explicitly recognised in the new commissioning arrangements.”

The charity is now urging the NHS to focus on the needs of these vulnerable children with the decisions made to be based on an assessment of local needs.