Mrs Chaudhuri’s primary school child saw a GP in November and received a referral to the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service after severe signs of anxiety were spotted. Three months down the line and an appointment has still not been made with a child psychiatrist.
Despite Clegg and the Coalition making promises not to slash front line NHS service budgets, Mrs Chaudhuri has been told that budget cuts of 16 per cent to Sheffield Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services have left them with reduced resources and it may be another three or four months before her child can be seen.
Mrs Chaudhuri had the opportunity to confront Mr Clegg about the recent changes. “Their waiting times have increased from six weeks to six months. Can you explain this?”, she said.
Mr Clegg said that he was distressed to hear about Mrs Chaudhuri’s situation and intends to sit down with her to work out what the issue was.
‘For too long mental health provision for children has been short changed and overstretched.’ He said.
Director of nursing at Sheffield Children’s NHS Foundation Trust, John Reid, admitted that the cuts had impacted waiting times.