Cap on waiting times for children seeking mental health treatment faces delay

The average waiting time for children seeking mental health care in England is 11 weeks at present

Plans for a maximum four-week waiting time for treatment for children with anxiety and depression are set to be delayed by four years due shortages of staff and funding.

The cap on waiting times will be proposed in a forthcoming green paper on children’s mental health.

It will also try to encourage more young people to agree to therapy or counselling by offering sessions within children’s schools, which are familiar settings and would not require travelling, rather than clinics. Young people with more complex needs would still be able to have treatment at specialist centres.

Rather than being introduced across England, however, ministers plan to implement the changes in a small number of areas to test how