Sue Bailey implores the government to set up an implementation task force in her letter to The Guardian.

“The care and support we provide our vulnerable children reflects on us as a society. We score highly on awareness and willingness to act. The government has put in the resources to deliver more staff on the ground over the next four years. Where criticism is valid is on our ability to use these resources effectively to enact change that makes a difference.

The government cannot just put money into the system and sit back and hope that it reaches the front line. There needs to be concerted political leadership to deliver change. The prime minister should establish an implementation taskforce pulling together ministers across government – including health, education, justice and work and pensions. It should focus on ensuring children and young people in crisis receive appropriate care and support, but also that we invest in early intervention and prevention. The tragic plight of this young woman could be added to the long list of similar stories or it could represent a watershed moment in bringing about real change. Let’s make sure it’s the latter. No child should ever be condemned to the “too difficult to help” box.”

Prof Sue Bailey
Chair of the Children and Young People’s Mental Health Coalition

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