WILTSHIRE Council has promised to improve mental health service for young people to stop teenagers missing out on care when they move into adult services.

An investigation into how children and adolescent mental health services work in Wiltshire found that some teenagers were not being referred to children’s service because they were on the cusp of turning 18.

Teenagers and schools then reported long waiting times to be seen by adult services and some fell through gaps in services.

The unitary authority's children and adolescent mental health strategy task group submitted a report to yesterday's children's select committee calling for a specific mental health strategy for all Wiltshire schools. It also demanded continuous care from mental health workers so that young people knew who was looking after their support.

Cabinet member for children service Laura Mayes, and Judith Westcott, Wiltshire Council's acting head commissioner agreed to enhance and improve the link between the Oxford Health CAMHS team for children and young people and adult services provided by Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership.

But a recommendation to ensure children in care children and those with special educational needs continued to receive mental health support until 25 instead of moving to adult services at 18 was rejected. Coun Mayes said a review would happen in the next 12 months, but national policy prevented SEND and children in care receiving CAMHS care until the age of 25.

She said: “We have accepted all recommendations made by the task group apart from one, that is the only one we have rejected. It is not that we don't agree, but at the moment we can't offer the service up to 25 years because of the restrictions that are currently set up.

"There has been massive change in CAMHS and while not perfect and I have some anecdotal evidence that shows the massive change. I have spoken to a GP who said that five years ago you could never get anywhere with the service but now it has been totally transformed. I think we must focus on looking at how we can continue to improve and go on in the future.”