Improved NHS support for children’s emotional health
12 July 2012
Children and teenagers in Kent suffering from anxiety,
depression or other mental health problems will benefit from
redesigned NHS services across the county from September.
In a ‘whole system change’ , NHS Kent and Medway and Kent County
Council are to reorganise the services using a ‘community model’
approach – meaning that children who suffer from mental and
emotional health problems will be provided with earlier
intervention and reduced waiting times for support, as well as
benefitting from treatment provided closer to home.
Dr Elizabeth Lunt is a Kent GP with a special interest in
children’s mental health, and chaired the panel that recommended
the decision to move to a new model of care.
She said; “Mental health issues in children and young people can
lead to many more health and social problems in later life.
Untreated mental health creates distress not only for the child or
young person themselves, but also for their families and carers;
and often continues into adulthood.
“By improving the services that are provided in the early stages,
we hope to be able to prevent children from requiring more
intensive treatment later. Delivering these services in community
settings will mean less disruption and expense for families who are
in need of help.”
Ian Derbyshire, Senior CAMHS commissioning manager for NHS Kent and
Medway said; “following extensive consultation with patients and
other stakeholders we took the decision to move to a community
model of care for CAMHS.
“All existing NHS staff working in CAMHS will be transferred to the
new organisation. There are no plans for redundancies, and clients
who use the services will receive their care as usual.
“We hope that the community model of care will lead to improvements
in our approach to treating mental health in children and
teenagers, and that families will ultimately benefit from these
Gurmit Sandhu, Senior CAMHS commissioning manager for NHS Kent and
Medway said: “Medway will continue to use current arrangements for
the provision of tier two services and we are really looking
forward to enhanced collaborative working between services and
across agencies with the Sussex Partnership.”
Jenny Whittle, KCC cabinet member with
responsibility for children and families said: “it’s vital that we
get these services right, as so many problems can be avoided later
if we can give children the help they need at an early stage. By
working closely with our NHS colleagues we are confident that we
will deliver an improved system that will benefit families.”
The new services will be provided by Sussex Partnership
Foundation Trust, which already provides community mental health
services in Sussex and Hampshire as well as inpatient mental health
care in Sussex.
Lisa Rodrigues, Chief Executive of Sussex Partnership NHS
Foundation Trust, said, “"We are delighted to be working with our
colleagues in Kent and Medway to provide community mental health
services for children and young people.
"Our services are based on early and very accessible contact
with children and young people and their families, and in close
partnership with schools, social services, and other agencies to
provide the right help and support to young people as quickly as
possible. The new arrangements will improve waiting times, as
proven by our current work in Sussex and Hampshire.
"We have already begun to make contact with the existing
services in Kent and Medway and with the mental health
professionals who will be moving over to Sussex Partnership to
provide this exciting new service."