There is no higher priority than looking after the health and wellbeing of the next generation. They are in every way our future.
With sensitivity and determination the Coroner has been looking into the tragic deaths of young people from our community that took place last year. While all the agencies stepped up, working together to support young people when these dreadful tragedies took place, the question on which the Coroner is rightly focussed is what could and should have been done to try and prevent these tragedies from taking place. She has identified failings which took place in the services provided and is determined that changes are implemented to ensure these are not repeated.
These inquests continue and more evidence may yet emerge that must be taken into consideration. However it is clear that young people were let down when they needed help. Our thoughts are with the families and friends of those who tragically died and those, including teaching staff, who did their utmost to help those in need and who I know have been deeply impacted. We all need to ensure that we do all we can to support young people who are struggling with their mental health.
The Coroner has set out clear direction to the Sussex Partnership Trust. They themselves have identified failings during a period in which demand for CAMHS services nearly doubled. I know improvements are being made. I also welcome the commitment to a Horsham-based young persons mental health hub. I am determined this hub, which young people themselves have identified as being of huge value, is delivered as soon as possible. The Coroner wants to see evidence of a real and sustained improvement in areas she has identified. I welcome her requirement for the Trust to report on improvements in October and that lessons learned here will be communicated to the Health Secretary to ensure that nationally we learn from mistakes made. I know the Coroner will not be alone in ensuring these are put in place and embedded. We are all determined to ensure that young people receive the right support when they need it most.