MORE than half of children in desperate need of mental health care in the county are being refused treatment.

Berkshire Healthcare NHS Trust is the third worst in the country for refusing to accept children in need, a freedom of information request found.

Royal Berkshire Hospital received 5,456 child patients in 2016/17, of which 2,962 were assessed but not accepted as patients.

Children are also expected to wait 88 days on average after GP referral for hospital assessments, and are not guaranteed to be referred elsewhere if rejected for treatment. 

Bracknell MP, Dr Phillip Lee expressed his disappointment in Berkshire Healthcare and called for immediate action to be taken to address the issue.

A statement released on behalf of Dr Lee said: “Dr Lee has seen these figures and is concerned both by the numbers, and the fact that Berkshire should be performing so badly by comparison to the country as a whole.

"In order to move this forward, he has written to the minister concerned and the NHS Trust responsible to request information on action that is being taken to address the current situation.”

Louise Noble, strategic lead for Child and Adolescent Mental Health services said: "Berkshire Healthcare is commissioned to deliver services to young people with complex and enduringmental health disorders. These are  described as tier 3 under the system for Child and Adolescent Mental Health services. 

"In other parts of the country, an individual organisation may provide both tier 2 and 3 services but this isn’t the case in Berkshire.

"However, as we offer a single point of access, referrers often find it easier to come to us first, and we are then able to make sure people are signposted to the right level of support."