Agenda item

Children and Young People's Mental Health Future Contracts

This report provides the Medway Children and Young People’s Overview and Scrutiny Committee with a detailed update from NHS Kent and Medway Integrated Care Board (NHSKM) on future contracts for children and young people’s mental health services in Kent and Medway.

The NHSKM assessment is that the proposed contracting approach set out in this paper is the next logical step in the incremental implementation of the Local Transformation Plan.




The Associate Director for Children’s Mental Health Kent and Medway ICB, supported by colleagues, presented the report.


Members raised several questions and comments which included:


The list of aspirations described in the report was encouraging but more consistency was needed to be built into all contracts to ensure that families did not have to retell their story every time they met with a new section of the service. It was also important to manage the wait times for assessment. The officer said that one of the ambitions was to streamline experience and do things differently by being inclusive. The lengthy wait time for assessment was acknowledged and work was being done to improve this as well as the quality of contact.


Contracts – it was asked what flexibility there was surrounding the built in service reviews to allow for fluctuations in funding and mitigate future risks. The officer said that having 10 year contracts in place was unusual and there has been some learning from Surrey Council which meant that things would be done differently going forward. it was envisaged that the voluntary and non NHS sector would be the driving force to attract people to mental health careers. Growth must be considered, and contracts needed to be able to respond to financial growth and respond to challenge. The ability to assess and review would be built into the contract framework going forward.


Trusted adult - in response to a question on the support to be provided to trusted adults and the monitoring and review of skill sets, the officer said that extensive time was being spent on the specification to develop this role. There would be a requirement by providers to be cognizant of people they served and to build in roles around lived experience. There would be an expectation of providers to actively engage with communities. The ability by the team to deliver workshops had allowed for engagement and the ability to understand the pressures faced regarding children and young people’s mental health.


It was commented that there was a discrepancy highlighted in appendix c to the report, between young males and females needs and demand for services, as suicide was one of the biggest killers of young males and it was asked if there were different levels of access for men and women. The officer said that males and females tend to present differently and agreed that suicide was the biggest killer of young males. More data needed to be gathered but the data reflected what was occurring nationally.


Communication - it was asked how services would be informed about changes. The officer said that there would be engagement through workshops and once that was in place there would be a significant mobilization plan over a six month period. GPs, schools, and all services would be advised on how to refer, and families would also be informed on how to access services.




The Committee noted the report, supported the contracting approach described in the report and that NHS Kent and Medway continue to provide regular updates to the Committee as the work progresses.


Supporting documents: