NHS Long Term Plan - Health & Justice, Armed Forces and SARCs

We have submitted evidence to NHS England on the populations of Health & Justice, Sexual Assault Referral Centres (SARCs) and Armed Forces in the Long Term Plan for the NHS. In developing our response, we have consulted with our Child Protection Standing Committee and the NSPCC.

SARCs and the Health & Justice population

Our top three priorities:

  • Mental health - Ensure that mental health assessments for both adults and children adequately look for an underlying neurodevelopmental disorder which might impact upon mental health and behavioural presentations, including those around violent crime and substance misuse.
  • Workforce - Ensure true multiagency working around the needs of that child and family. Equip the children's health workforce with appropriate resources, competencies and support to build resilience. The medical workforce in SARCs is a forseeable gap in the near future in paediatrics.
  • Early intervention and prevention - Ensure improved recognition and quality early intervention for adverse childhood experiences under five years old. Invest in trauma-informed care and building understanding of the long term mental and physical health effects that early trauma can have on the developing brain and body.

Armed Forces population

Our top three priorities:

  • Ensure prompt access for current and ex-serving personnel to adult mental health services specialising in the identification and treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and other symptoms associated with combat experiences.
  • Provide early help services to support the mental wellbeing of parents and children within the military, for example perinatal interventions and counselling.
  • Ensure that children from military families with special educational needs and/or requiring specialist health care are not disadvantaged in their access to services through the requirement of military families to regularly relocate.

You can download our full submission below.