The NHS Long Term Plan sets out the priorities for expanding children and young people’s mental health services.
It aims to widen access to services closer to home, reduce unnecessary delays and deliver specialist mental healthcare, which is based on a clearer understanding of young people’s needs and provided in ways that work better for them.
To deliver these priorities, Kent and Medway has put in place plans that set out how services will be locally delivered.
During the pandemic, in April 2020, the eight Kent and Medway clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) merged to become NHS Kent and Medway CCG. While we have, historically, worked closely, the merger provides a greater opportunity to focus on making sure children, young people, young adults and their families receive a consistent offer, regardless of where they live in Kent and Medway.
In this first joint Kent and Medway plan, we demonstrate a more mature understanding to the challenges in delivering enduring change and the risks to the local transformation plan programme itself.
Priorities for 2021 are:
- identifying and providing support for children and young people at greatest risk
- supporting children and young people with neurodevelopmental needs or learning difficulties
- improving transition and increasing support available to young adults
- increasing partnership co-ordination of early intervention and prevention interventions
- reducing inequality in access rates across Kent and Medway
- responding to COVID-19 in line with emerging evidence and responding to immediate system pressures
- better understanding outcomes for children and young people from their interventions and the impact of services.
We have produced this summary to highlight some of the services available to children, young people and young adults in Kent and Medway.
The Kent Local Transformation Plan for Children, Young People and Young Adults’ Emotional Wellbeing and Mental Health has been developed by colleagues at NHS Kent and Medway Clinical Commissioning Group and Kent County Council.
We have looked at local and countywide needs, as well as service provision and good practice, and have developed a new system, which puts children, young people and young adults at the heart of services.
The plan draws on the voice of the child, families and professionals and articulates how we will move towards a future where how we see and respond to the emotional wellbeing and mental health of our whole population is improved.
Our local transformation plan sets out how we will meet the challenge and commits to systemic change which cuts across organisational and geographic boundaries.
The key areas of transformation in our 2019 local transformation plan are:
- identifying and providing support for children and young people at greatest risk,
- reviewing support for children and young people with neurodevelopmental need or learning difficulties,
- improving transition and increasing the support available to young adults,
- increasing investment in early intervention and prevention support,
- reducing inequality in access rates across Kent, and
- delivering the Long Term Plan ambitions for mental health services.
We are committed to listening to children, young people and their families so the continued development and improvement of the plan is based on their experience and views.
Since publishing our first version in December 2015, we have been required by NHS England to produce an annual refresh. You can find these reports below:
Since 2019 there has been a joint Kent and Medway plan.
The Medway Local Transformation Plan for Children and Young People's Mental Health and Wellbeing 2015 to 2016 and 2020 to 2021 sets out our shared commitment and priorities towards achieving a brighter future for children and young people and their emotional, mental health and wellbeing, regardless of their circumstances.
The aims include:
- challenging mental health stigma so young people are not disadvantaged or socially excluded, by strengthening school approaches, peer mentoring, parenting support and community groups
- supporting the whole family so that parents or carers can identify signs of problems and give them expert advice and support
- developing emotional wellbeing services in children’s centres, primary and secondary schools and community settings
- ensuring that those working with young people have skills and confidence to find, seek, advise and respond to emotional wellbeing issues
- developing a clear path for emotional wellbeing with qualified, supervised mental health experts through a single point of access to assess needs and risks as early as possible before recommending support
- ensuring specialist assessment of our most vulnerable young people’s emotional wellbeing needs including children in care, care leavers, children and young people in transition, young offenders, children with disabilities, children and victims of sexual abuse, and those at risk of developing harmful behaviours
- having enough capacity so that at least 35% of children and young people with a diagnosable mental health condition get treatment from an NHS-funded community mental health service (in line with national performance standards)
The Medway Local Transformation Plan for Children and Young People’s Mental Health and Wellbeing is now integrated into the Kent and Medway plan published in October 2021. This is to reflect the:
- NHS Long Term Plan targets
- clinical commissioning group (CCG) arrangements.