Proposed Mental Health Standards of Care (Wales) Bill - response

In March 2024 we responded to the proposal for a Mental Health Standards of Care (Wales) Bill, put forward by James Evans MS. The purpose of the bill is to replace outdated mental health legislation; improve the delivery of mental health plans for Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services and adult services in Wales; improve the accountability of Welsh public sector organisations; help to establish parity between the treatment of physical and mental health; and help to reduce the stigma of mental health in Wales.
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Our response

You can download our full response at the bottom of this page.

Mental health and wellbeing continues to be a major challenge for children and young people across Wales. The Children’s Commissioner for Wales found that almost two thirds (63.2%) of children aged 7-11 were concerned about their mental health or wellbeing. Children with the lowest levels of family affluence were statistically significantly more likely to be concerned about their mental health and wellbeing than those with higher affluence levels.

RCPCH Wales recently published a paper on the role of paediatricians in child mental health. The paper advocates for increasing resources into early intervention and prevention, building resilience and ensuring our workforce is trained to spot the signs of mental ill health and equipped to refer and support children.

Our recommendations

  • RCPCH Wales welcomes the rights-based approach adopted by the Mental Health Standards of Care (Wales) Bill.
  • RCPCH Wales welcomes the amendment that ensure there is no age limit upon those who can request a re-assessment of their mental health, but clarification is needed regarding extending the ability to request a re-assessment to ‘people specified by the patient’.
  • RCPCH Wales would welcome guidance to strengthen the criteria for referrals to CAMHS and support for those that are considered ‘the missing middle’.

As already stated, RCPCH published a paper recently on the role of paediatricians in child and young people mental health. The paper explains that while CAMHS has a significant of referrals, there are also a number of children seeking mental health support across primary care, in education settings, paediatric services, emergency departments and through online tools such as Kooth and Childline.

All services working with children have a role to play in supporting their wellbeing and addressing mild to moderate mental health needs.

RCPCH’s paper provides recommendations that could feature in accompanying guidance, that would support the intention of the Bill to improve CAMHS.

We respond to a wide range of consultations to ensure that the College’s position, and ultimately children’s health, is represented. Members can get involved in current consultations by contacting the Wales team at