Local MP raises concerns about spending on Children's mental health support in Norfolk

Children with mental health problems in Norfolk are losing out compared to other parts of the country according to local MP and mental health campaigner Norman Lamb.

North Norfolk MP, Norman Lamb received a letter from Nigel Boldero and Howard Tidman, Co-lead Governors on behalf of the Council of Governors, at the Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust which outlined spending on local child mental health support.

The letter followed a report published by Anne Longfield, Children’s Commissioner for England. The findings of the report are extremely concerning, particularly for the East of England region. A subsequent Guardian article stated that: “Children who need help with mental health face a postcode lottery[1].

The report shows that there are wide variations in spending between regions which is severely impacting the children’s mental health support that is available. Looking specifically at the East of England, spend per child is shown as £5.32, staggeringly less than the £17.88 for a child in London.

Norman Lamb MP has written to the Matt Hancock MP; Secretary of State for Health, Melanie Craig; Executive Lead for Norfolk and Waveney Sustainability Transformation Partnership and Sara Tough; Executive Director of Children’s Services at Norfolk County Council to highlight these alarming figures.

In his letter, Norman Lamb MP has asked for clarification regarding how spending on children’s mental health support in Norfolk compares with other comparable councils and asks what steps are being taken by the Norfolk and Waveney STP to address the severe shortfall in local spend.

Norman Lamb MP said:

“I am dismayed that such huge variations in spend on children’s mental health support occur from region to region.

It is wholly unacceptable that children and young people face a postcode lottery when it comes to receiving the support and care they deserve and are entitled to.

I have written to Matt Hancock MP, Melanie Craig and Sara Tough to seek urgent clarification on the figures released in this report. I also want to know what the Norfolk and Waveney STP plan to do to ensure the East of England doesn’t continue to fall so far behind when compared to the rest of the country on spending on children’s mental health support.  

Our children and young people in Norfolk, and across the region, deserve to have access to mental health support. At present, they are being badly let down.”


[1] Guardian Article: Children who need help with mental health face a post code lottery – study.   https://www.theguardian.com/society/2019/apr/10/children-who-need-help-with-mental-health-face-postcode-lottery-study

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