AN innovative pilot scheme being led by Sefton’s two CCGs has scooped £75k to help transform services for children and young people with mental health issues across the region.

A consortium, comprising of South Sefton CCGs, Southport and Formby CCG, Sefton Council and the local voluntary sector, will use the pilot cash to put in place youth-focused emotional wellbeing services in the community which will deliver specific services that meet the needs of young people.

They are one of eight schemes in the country to have been given a share of £500k. All the pilots are about creating time for staff to reassess the systems in place to commission Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) – from schools up to inpatient beds – and try to affect change through new ideas.

Fiona Clark, chief officer for both CCGs in Sefton, said: “This money will enable us to look at the system which is currently in place and assess how it can be improved for the benefit of patients in Sefton using the voice of the child, young people and families to design the process.

Pilots in NEW Devon, Derbyshire, Newcastle, Tameside and Glossop, Norfolk, Southampton, Wolverhampton and South Sefton have all been awarded up to £75k to develop their plans.

Examples include: improving services for children who might not need inpatient CAMHS care but have serious problems with self-harm or drug abuse; helping schools to manage early signs of mental health problems in pupils; training pupils and families to be involved in the commissioning process.

Dr Martin McShane, NHS England’s director for people with long term conditions, said: “Vulnerable children and young people need services they can rely on in a crisis.

“However, we know that by intervening effectively for young people when they begin to show signs of mental health problems we can significantly lower the chances of them needing specialist inpatient care.

“We want to accelerate breaking down barriers in the system and give commissioners, across a range of organisations, the time and space to take a step back and consider new and more effective ways of working.”

Ninety four bids, from 149 Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs), were received outlining the basis of their plans. The successful schemes were chosen by a panel of representatives from the Department of Health, the Department of Education and NHS England.

Care and Support Minister, Norman Lamb, said:“I am absolutely determined to make sure any child with a mental health problem gets the best possible care, which is why I convened a Taskforce to look at how we can improve services. I congratulate these regions for their innovative work, which will help us transform care for young people across the country.

“I’m also really grateful to the 94 areas that submitted proposals – this shows a remarkable appetite for change. There is a growing consensus that we can improve the way we commission and organise children and young people’s mental health services.”

Many of the applications were jointly between CCGs and their partner agencies in local authorities and education, demonstrating their commitment to work together to improve high quality and better coordinated care and support. 

Funding for the pilots has come from the £40m announced in October by NHS England CEO Simon Stevens and Deputy PM Nick Clegg.

They will now have until April to get their new approaches up and running and will then share learning across the CAMHS sector.

The pilot schemes will cover the whole care pathway for CAMHS care, from universal services provided in locations like schools through to inpatient services.

Additional information

Areas which submitted strong bids on eating disorders will be contacted separately to be involved in piloting linked to additional funding on eating disorders (£30million in 2015-16).

In July, NHS England published a report which found issues relating to accessing specialist inpatient beds and patients being admitted to services a long way from home.

Following the report, the Children and Young People’s Mental Health and Well-being Taskforce was set up to look at improving services.

The pilot schemes are one of its first pieces of work.

The money will be released immediately for use by the end of March 2015. 

The pilots should be implementing the new co-commissioning approaches and sharing learning widely from April 2015.  Learning will be fed into the Taskforce in early 2015.

  • NHS England has committed an additional £40m funding boost for mental health services in 2014-15. This comprises:
  • An investment of £7m to commission 50 additional general adolescent and intensive care beds, recruit additional case managers and improve access arrangements so that young people who require admission can access services nearer home.
  • An investment of £33 million to support people in mental health crisis, and to boost early intervention services, helping some of the most vulnerable young people in the country to get well and stay well.

    During 2015/16 we will introduce the first access standards and waiting times in mental health services. A further £80m investment will deliver, by the end of 15/16:

  • Treatment within six weeks for 75 per cent of people referred to the Improved Access to Psychological Therapies programme, with 95 per cent of people treated within 18 weeks;
  • Treatment within two weeks for more than 50 per cent of people experiencing a first episode of psychosis; and
  • A £30m targeted investment in helping people in crisis to access effective support in acute hospitals.

Other CCGs involved in the application

Southport Formby CCG

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