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Transforming Mental health services

In 2014, the children and young people in St Helens took part in the Annual Democracy Debate choosing as their priority theme “happy being me” and at the same time a needs assessment was completed by Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (otherwise known as CAMHS) that sets out the health, social and educational causes that can affect the mental health of children in St Helens.

To add further support the Joint Strategic Needs Assessment (JSNA) 2015 identifies the health and social care needs of the local population which allows local organisations to plan, commission and deliver the best possible services to meet the needs of the local population. These reports and consultations have identified what changes parents would like to see and  the priority areas for St Helens children and young people with mental health and wellbeing needs.

They also formed the basis for the development of the Local Transformation Plan. This plan shows what actions will be taken to ensure these and other issues are addressed. To help achieve these actions additional funding has been made available from NHS England which has been given to St Helens Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) having gained assurance from NHS England that the money will be used effectively alongside existing commitments to ensure better services for the children and young people of St Helens.

Why change? 
St Helens Local Transformation Plan identifies what needs changing and improving to make the support for mental health and wellbeing services better for those who need it. For example

  • Improving access to effective support
  • Care for the most vulnerable
  • Self Harm improvements to the service pathway.
  • Eating Disorders - ensure that care is provided within community and there is appropriate wrap around care on discharge

St Helens Plan to Improve Mental Health and Wellbeing Services for Children and Young People 
The St Helens Mental Health and Wellbeing Strategic Framework, approved by the Health and Wellbeing Board in July 2015, is the foundation for our Local Transformation Plan. This strategic framework sets out our direction of travel for Mental Health and Mental Wellbeing for the population of St Helens, addressing mental health and mental wellbeing across all age ranges.

Bringing this together in one framework will help us to understand all the relevant strands of mental health and ensure better coordination and partnership working to connect issues and develop solutions together. It will help us to improve access to and improve the quality of services across the range of need, to test new and more innovative ways of encouraging positive mental health and wellbeing and ensure that help is provided quicker and closer.

Our local plan aims to deliver a more joined up approach for 0-18 year olds, particularly for those with greater vulnerabilities and psychological and social risk factors who do not fit neatly into current tiered mental health models.

There is one transformational plan for St Helens, with the key partners being the CCG, Health & Wellbeing Board, Local Authority, Police, schools, colleges, voluntary sector and GPs. Throughout the life span of the plan children and young people will remain central to the is’ implementation and revision.

Access to Effective Support

Establish easier access to Mental Health services for individuals who constantly repeat self-harm.

Improve the self-harm pathway diverting young people from A & E and preventing admission/re-admission.

Build on the understanding and skills across the workforce and test initiatives which enable young people to self-care.  

Perinatal Mental Health Establish a new perinatal mental health pathway linked in to the Improving Maternity Experience Programme taking into consideration the guidance that is expected to be released early in 2016.
Transition Agree and implement a transition pathway with the involvement of children, young people and families which will improve access to effective support and ensure that the young people’s experience of transition is well planned, smooth and positive.
Peer Led Models

Extend access to peer led approaches for young people and parents therefore improving access to effective support.

Develop and test a range of peer led models including peer education, young people trainers, young health and wellbeing champions, etc.

Improved Care for Children and Young People in Crisis

Development of a new community based eating disorder service as per national guidelines, by a dedicated project team.  Working with neighbouring CCGs to design and deliver a specialist community based eating disorder service. 

Ensuring that care is provided within community and there is appropriate wrap around care on discharge.

Care for the Most Vulnerable Caring for the most vulnerable, improving care for children and young people in crisis who will be treated in the right place, right time and closer to home.

Develop a Neurodevelopmental pathway including support for children and young people with autism and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).

Providing improved access and outcomes for children and young people and their parents.

Waiting Time Initiatives To reduce waiting times for service down from 15 weeks to 6 weeks for our CAMHS services which will also support NHS England’s initiative to reduce admissions to mental health hospital beds.
Improving access to effective support To reduce waiting times in all services associated with neurodevelopmental conditions in preparation of the commencement of the new pathway

Core values and standards that will help us develop and implement the plan:

  • Evidencing that we have listened to children and young people, family and carers – to ensure we get it right for the future. 
  • Ensure that young people have equal opportunities to access information advice and guidance to make informed choices about services. 
  • Further development of joint commissioning arrangements to ensure that all children and young people’s health needs are being met. 
  • To use evidence based interventions, quality standards and outcome measures for all services. 
  • The sharing of information and learning across organisations. 
  • Open governance and transparency in decision making available for public scrutiny.

Full Plans 
If you would like to view all documents regarding the Local Transformation Plan that was submitted to NHS England please click on the icons below.  This also includes the St Helens Mental Health and Wellbeing Strategic Framework, approved by the Health and Wellbeing Board in July 2015, which is the foundation for our Local Transformation Plan. The CCG has recently refreshed the LTP and the revised plan is available below.

The lead accountable commissioning body for St Helens Local Transformation Plan for Children and Young People’s Mental Health is St Helens Clinical Commissioning Group, and managed by the Integrated Children’s Commissioning Team, under the strategic direction of the Director Public Health. The team comprises staff from the CCG and Local Authority (Children’s Services and Public Health) and is authorised through a formal Section 75 Agreement.

Please send your comments on this plan and ideas for improvement of the mental health and wellbeing of children and young people to:

Darren Birks
Senior Commissioning and Transformation Manager
Tel: 01744 675364


Suzanne Rimmer
Assistant Director Children's Health 
Tel: 01744 457227