HC Deb 09 April 1976 vol 909 c331W
Mr. Moonman

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services whether he will make it his policy to keep figures of the numbers of children diagnosed as being in need of psychiatric treatment in the interests of the early screening of children at risk.

Dr. Owen

Because of the nature and causes of disturbance in childhood a wide range of interrelated approaches is often needed, involving psychological, educational, social and psychiatric services. Diagnosis is rarely in terms of need or otherwise for psychiatric treatment, and even where it is, it is likely to have regard to the availability of services. The number of such diagnoses is thus not thought to be a reliable indicator of the scale of childhood psychiatric disturbance.