This annual paper updates the Board on the Medway Young person’s Wellbeing Service contract and developments through the Local Transformation Plan for CYP Mental Health and Emotional Wellbeing for 2019/20.
This paper also highlights the direction of travel for 2021 to 2024 in meeting NHS Long Term Plan targets for children and young people across Kent and Medway.
This report was initially considered by the Children and Young People Overview and Scrutiny Committee on 7 January 2021.
The Health and Wellbeing Board considered a report which presented an update on the Emotional Health and Wellbeing Contract and The Local Transformation Plan. This was introduced by the Partnership Commissioning Programme Lead for Children’s and Young People’s Mental Health and Emotional Wellbeing.
Since the report had been published on the agenda, the Partnership Commissioning Programme Lead was pleased to report that there had been a notable reduction in referrals due to anxiety, low mood, and stress which the report showed had increased in October 2020.
The Board raised several comments and questions, which included:
Bereavement support – the Partnership Commissioning Programme Lead confirmed that from April 2021 there would be greater access to bereavement support services (including suicide) for under 25-year-olds across Kent and Medway. Recognising that during the current pandemic bereavement was a big issue, this was welcomed.
Kooth - the Partnership Commissioning Programme Lead confirmed that the Kooth service would continue post April 2021 and would be available from age 10, removing the Year 6 cut off. A comment was made about re-evaluating any future contract end date of March to a more suitable time of the year.
Asked about the clinical outcomes for children using the service and how it compared with more traditional face to face services, the Partnership Commissioning Programme Lead advised that Kooth was being accessed more and more by certain cohorts, the service was goal based and data showed that goals were being achieved over time. Comparisons were unable to be drawn to other service types due to the nature of the current Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) contract. Availability of outcomes data would be reviewed when the service was recommissioned.
Board Members were advised that later in the year there would be training for elected Members on Kooth. It was requested that an invite be extended to all Board Members.
Transition – the Partnership Commissioning Programme Lead confirmed that locally several surveys and investigations into people’s experiences of services had been undertaken, including around the transition between children’s and adult’s mental health services. A comment was made that improvements had been made regarding transition, but more work needed to be done, particularly considering the potential impact over a number of years on mental health owing to the pandemic.
Timely access to treatment – with reference to figure 3 of the report (MYPWS: Percentage CYP waiting over 18 weeks between referral to treatment, per pathway), it was noted that an improvement was seen over time for waiters on four locality pathways owingto the recruitment of new staff and an increase in the number of clinics, but considerable progress was needed to reduce waiting times for waiters on the neurodevelopmental pathway. In response, the Partnership Commissioning Programme Lead explained that wait times for over 11s on the neurodevelopment pathway continued to be a challenge and was very much a focus area across the system. A working group had been established to review what else could be done not only for the service but around the service for example navigating support.
Children in Care (CiC) – the work targeting CiC was commended. It was hoped that there would be closer working between mental health and wellbeing services and Medway’s CiC teams. It was considered that this would be the next stage of development.
The Health and Wellbeing Board:
a) noted the comments of the Children and Young People Overview and Scrutiny Committee set out in section 7 of the report.
b) noted the update report together with the comments made by Board Members.
c) requested that an invite to the Kooth training scheduled for later in the year be extended to all Health and Wellbeing Board Members.