Economic impact of childhood psychiatric disorder on public sector services in Britain: estimates from national survey data

Tom Snell, Martin Knapp, Andrew Healey, Sacha Guglani, Sara Evans-Lacko, José-Luis Fernández, Howard Meltzer, Tamsin Ford (2013)

Please note: this is a legacy publication from CPEC (formely PSSRU at LSE).

Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry 54 9 977-985

Available online: 27 February 2013

BACKGROUND: Approximately one in ten children aged 5-15 in Britain has a conduct, hyperactivity or emotional disorder. METHODS: The British Child and Adolescent Mental Health Surveys (BCAMHS) identified children aged 5-15 with a psychiatric disorder, and their use of health, education and social care services. Service costs were estimated for each child and weighted to estimate the overall economic impact at national level. RESULTS: Additional health, social care and education costs associated with child psychiatric disorders totalled £1.47bn in 2008. The lion's share of the costs falls to frontline education and special education services. CONCLUSIONS: There are huge costs to the public sector associated with child psychiatric disorder, particularly the education system. There is a pressing need to explore ways to reduce these costs while improving health and well-being.