Children’s mental health services in England are to get a funding boost of some £1.25 billion to help address huge gaps in care that are tantamount to an “institutionalised form of cruelty”.

Announcing the plans, Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said the cash - to be confirmed in this week’s budget - will help treat 110,000 more children with mental health issues over the next five years, as well as provide “rapid access” to treatment for pregnant women and new mothers.

Other measures designed to boost care include introducing the first ever-waiting time standards for children’s mental health and ensuring that specialists in children’s talking therapy are available in every part of the country by 2018.

This will help to build “a fairer society where young people can get the right treatment and support they deserve to live a better life,” Clegg said.