CHILDREN in York are waiting as long as nine months for mental health assessments, a city MP has warned.

Julian Sturdy told Parliament on Wednesday that Tees, Esk and Wear Valley NHS Trust (TEWV), which runs mental health services in York, has nine-month waiting lists for Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) - and even that is an estimate as the Department of Health does not record those waiting times.

Mr Sturdy, MP for York Outer, spoke at Prime Minister's Questions to ask Theresa May to require health trusts to monitor CAMHS waiting times.

He said: "The Prime Minister rightly argues for true parity of esteem between mental and physical health. But parents in York have been told their children must wait up to a year for assessment by Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services."

In response, Mrs May said the Government would look into waiting times monitoring as part of its review of CAMHS services.

The nine-month waiting time is a drop on the 11-month wait reported over the last quarter.

Speaking later Mr Sturdy said he was pleased the Prime Minister was taking the issue seriously.

“I honestly feel that we are playing catch up when it comes to mental health, both in York and across the country. If a child is struggling with mental health issues or undiagnosed conditions it is very important that they get the treatment and help they need, particularly in their early and formative years, " he added.

“I believe that the central recording and publishing of CAMHS waiting times will help highlight this issue, and I will be seeking a meeting with TEWV and our local Clinical Commissioning Group to discuss these matters further.”