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NHS cash shortage is putting children with mental issues in hospital, MP Rushanara warns

PUBLISHED: 09:02 28 November 2016 | UPDATED: 13:00 28 November 2016

MP Rushanara Ali calls for NHS funding for child mental health [Advertiser picture & Google image]

MP Rushanara Ali calls for NHS funding for child mental health [Advertiser picture & Google image]

Archant/Google

Too many schoolchildren in London’s deprived East End are ending up in hospital because of a lack of NHS resources, an MP has warned.

MP Rushanara Ali at NHS GP funding protest in Downing Street 2014MP Rushanara Ali at NHS GP funding protest in Downing Street 2014

Too many schoolchildren with mental issues are ending up in hospital because of a lack of GP resources, an MP has warned.

Around £50-a-head has been allocated for Tower Hamlets 2016-17 financial year for mental health services for children in the community in an area with one of the country’s worst levels of child obesity.

Bethnal Green and Bow MP Rushanara Ali says Tower Hamlets is one of the worst local authority areas for spending on child and adolescent mental health services.

“Claims that the Prime Minister is putting an extra £10 billion into our NHS are misleading,” the MP said.

MP Rushanara Ali at a housing  meeting in Old Ford, Bow, 2016MP Rushanara Ali at a housing meeting in Old Ford, Bow, 2016

“There are so many youngsters at risk of severe mental health problems in my constituency — the government has failed to recognise this desperate need.”

Vital mental health services were being underfunded, the MP claims, despite a government pledge of an extra £10 billion for the NHS and a commitment to fund child and adolescent mental health services.

But the £53 being put aside for each child to address their needs is one of the best in the country, Tower Hamlets Clinical Commissioning Group points out.

A local NHS Commissioning Group spokesman told the East London Advertiser today: “We have invested funds in the last year to establish new services for eating and conduct disorders.

“Improving the mental health of schoolchildren and young people in Tower Hamlets is an absolute priority for us.”

The commissioning group is working with schoolchildren and local organisations to run a mental health awareness campaign including video, photography and grime tracks produced by young people.

Research by the End Child Poverty Coalition campaign shows 12,072 children living in poverty in MP Rushanara Ali’s east London constituency alone.

This has a knock-on effect that critics say results in mental issues among the young.

One-in-10 schoolchildren in the country between five and 16 have a diagnosable mental health disorder, the charity Young Minds has found.

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