Funding for children’s mental health services reduced to £143 million

The funding is a part of a £1.25 billion package to increase children’s mental health spending announced in March’s budget, which the government has said it is fully committed to. A government spokeswoman has said the reduction was made to ensure that the money was properly invested.

A further £30 million will also be spent to help people with eating disorders and further details are expected to guarantee that by 2020 95 per cent of patients will be seen within four weeks of being referred.

Sarah Brennan, head of the charity Young Minds, said: “I’m not worried about how much they are spending this year as long as it's spent well, that the money is spent intelligently.

“They should use it to gear up this year, organise themselves and hire the right staff, allowing them to make next year a year of real transformation.”

Dr Martin McShane, national clinical director for long-term conditions at NHS England, has commended the government for making eating disorders a priority and said that the focus needs to be on treating patients quickly.

McShane said: “The number of children and young people with an eating disorder is on the rise and it is right that the government has made this a priority.”

He added: ”It is clinically proven that patients recover most quickly when we treat them as early and as close to home as possible.

"By prioritising our focus on doing this we can minimise the number of young people who end up needing more specialised in-patient care."

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