Daniel Zeichner, MP for Cambridge, visited Addenbrooke’s Hospital on Friday (8 March) to meet consultants and staff on the frontline of Children and Young People’s (CYP) Mental Health services. The visit was an opportunity for Mr Zeichner to hear from experts in the field about the levels of provision for the local area and what challenges are  faced on a daily basis.

He came at the invitation of emergency medicine consultantDr Catherine Hayhurst who is also mental health lead for the  Royal College of Emergency Medicine. It has just undertaken a national survey  about mental health services for children and young people (CYP) presenting to emergency departments and it includes suggestions for how services could be improved.

Afterwards Mr Zeichner, who also met other staff from the local community health pathway, said: “Mental health issues presented by children and young people have risen significantly. I welcomed the opportunity to meet Dr Hayhurst and to hear from the experiences of the team that are on the frontline of mental health provision for children and young people.

The measures announced in the NHS Long Term Plan to protect young people’s mental health do not go far enough. Underfunding has left children and young people’s mental health services struggling, and vulnerable young people unable to access the support they need. It is clear from what I hear in my capacity as the vice-chair of the Parliamentary all party Group on Mental Health, and the all party Students Group that there are major cracks in the current system and I want to hear expert opinion on what we can do to close those as quickly as possible.”

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