Shaping future mental health services for children

From April next year Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) will be delivered by one provider across Bath and North East Somerset (B&NES), Swindon and Wiltshire providing seamless care and support for children and young people who are facing mental health difficulties or illness.

Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) and Councils in B&NES, Swindon and Wiltshire have collaborated on a joint service as part of the region’s Sustainability and Transformation Plan.  Following a competitive tendering process, Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust has been selected as the preferred bidder for the new service. The next stage will be to shape the way the service will be delivered from 2018 and people are invited to be involved.

Dr Ian Orpen, Clinical Chair of BaNES CCG said: “The number of children and young people in Bath and North East Somerset seeking help for mental health difficulties is increasing. GPs like me are often their first port of call so I’m really pleased that the new service will work more closely with GPs and other services in the community to ensure support is available at the time it’s needed.”

In B&NES, CAMHS supports around 800 children and young people a year.

There is an ongoing programme of engagement so parents, carers, children and young people can help shape how the new service is delivered.

Kirstie Stage, one of the young reps from the CAMHS involved in the project said: “Mental Health is an issue which affects everyone and for young people there is already a significant amount of pressure. I am delighted that young people are having their opinions listened to for a service which puts them at the centre. This is a pivotal point in stepping forward – in not only shaping a future CAMHS service, but also for us to share our own personal perspectives as respected young people.”

Members of the public wishing to have their say can email their thoughts to voiceandinfluenceteam@wiltshire.gov.uk  putting ‘CAMHS’ in the subject line.

There is an opportunity for health and teaching professionals to hear more about plans for CAMHS services and meet with Oxford Health from 4-5.30pm on 25 April in Keynsham.  If you work with children and young people and would like to attend, please email banes.comms@nhs.net