The Local Transformation Plan for children and young people's mental health and wellbeing in Berkshire West.

November 2017: This year's refreshed version of the Local Transformation Plan for submission is available here.

January 2017: A refreshed version of the Local Transformation Plan for Children and Young People's mental health and wellbeing in Berkshire West  can be downloaded here.

The young person's version is also available here.

  • The latest update about CAMHS is available in the newsletter from Berkshire Healthcare Foundation Trust here.
  • SHaRON is the Support Hope and Recovery Online Network for young people in Berkshire: www.sharon.nhs.uk.
  • Reading's Local Transformation Plan for children and young people is available here.

Find out more via the links below:

Our starting point

Future in mind – promoting, protecting and improving our children and young people’s mental health and wellbeing, the report of the government's Children and Young People’s Mental Health Taskforce, was launched in March 2015.

The report sets out the case for change in mental health services for children and young people. It makes recommendations for improving a number of things about mental health services for children and teenagers: the quality of services; how quickly and easily services can be accessed when they are needed; better co-ordination between services; and, a significant improvement in meeting the mental health needs of children and young people no matter what their background.

By addressing all these areas the report aims to promote good mental health and wellbeing for children and young people and ensure there are high quality services in place to care for children and young people if they need them.

In spring 2014 clinical commissioning groups in Berkshire West asked service users, schools, doctors and mental health workers what they thought about local mental health services.

Their responses suggested that many children, young people and their families thought that services weren’t good enough – explaining that waiting times were too long, that it was difficult to find out how to access help and, sometimes, that they didn’t like the way that they were treated by staff. They said that there were delays in referrals and the advice given to families while waiting for their child’s assessment was insufficient.

Future in Mind provided a structure for planned changes in Berkshire West. The ambition became not simply to adjust existing services, but to transform them.

What are we doing?

The vision for Berkshire West is to ensure that every child or young person gets the help they need when and where they need it. By 2020 support will be individually tailored to the needs of the child, family and community – delivering significant improvements in children and young people's mental health and wellbeing.

In the summer of 2015 the NHS, the three local authorities (West Berkshire Council, Reading Borough Council, and Wokingham Borough Council), the voluntary and community sector, local schools and colleges came together to draw up a five-year plan for each council’s area.

The Local Transformation Plans cover the whole spectrum of services for children and young people’s emotional and mental health and wellbeing in each local authority area. This includes enhanced support for children and young people experiencing a mental health crisis, anxiety or depression. Services for children and young people with eating disorders have also been reshaped to enable specialist support outside hospital.

The three local transformation plans and the funding to make them happen have now been agreed. While the three local transformation plans share many common elements, the route into emotional health and wellbeing services in each area is being reviewed, based on the services available in each community.

Each local transformation plan will be overseen by the health and wellbeing boards, and multidisciplinary groups are in place to champion the changes.

What difference will the local transformation plans make?

The local transformation plans are about integrating and building resources within the local community, so that emotional health and wellbeing support is offered at the earliest opportunity. This will reduce the number of children, young people and mothers requiring specialist intervention, a crisis response or in-patient admission. Help will be offered as soon as issues become apparent.

Successful delivery of the plans will mean that:

  • Good emotional health and wellbeing is promoted from the earliest age
  • Children, young people and their families are emotionally resilient
  • The whole children’s workforce including teachers, early years providers and GPs are able to identify issues early, enable families to find solutions, provide advice and access help
  • Help is provided in a coordinated, easy to access way. All services in the local area work together so that children and young people get the best possible help at the right time and in the right place. The help provided takes account of the family’s circumstances and the child or young person’s views.
  • Pregnant women and new mothers with emerging perinatal mental health problems can access help quickly and effectively.
  • Vulnerable children can access the help that they need more easily. This includes; better links with Sexual Assault Referral Centres (SARCs)and developing Liaison and Diversion services for offenders with mental health or learning disabilities when they come into contact with the criminal justice system.
  • Fewer children and young people escalate into crisis. Fewer children and young people require in patient admission.
  • If a child or young person’s needs escalate into crisis, good quality care will be available quickly and will be delivered in a safe place. After the crisis the child or young person will be supported to recover in the least restrictive environment possible, as close to home as possible.
  • When young a person requires in patient care, this is provided as close to home as possible. Local services support timely transition back into the local area.
  • More young people and families report a positive experience of transition in to adult services.

How will services change to deliver the local transformation plan?

The way services are organised will transform from a traditional tiered model, where care and support is delivered and commissioned by separate organisations, to a model where the community itself and all the volunteer and professionally-led-services within West Berkshire take an active role. This will not only look different on paper, but also feel different for those using children’s and young people’s mental health services. Their experience of care will be increasingly seamless, more coordinated and quicker to access.

What is the timetable for change?

Each local transformation plan is divided up into aims and objectives for each financial year. People will be asked about their experience of moving from children’s and young people’s service to adult services, as a way of checking improvements have been achieved.

April 2015 to end of March 2016

  • Recruit and train three whole time equivalent staff for specialist clinical CAMHs support
  • Start work to reduce waiting time for initial assessment and advice to 6 weeks maximum
    (12 weeks for ASD diagnosis) – this target will be achieved in 2016/17.
  • All urgent cases contacted within 24 hours
  • Common Point of Entry (CPE) service open 12 hours per day, Monday to Friday
  • Enhanced training for staff in organisations so that they have a better understanding of children, young people and their families emotional health and wellbeing needs
  • Increase the number of in-patient beds at the Berkshire Adolescent Unit from 7 to 09 beds
  • Improve out of hospital care for children and young people with eating disorders services.
  • Develop a Children, Young People and Families Toolkit to provide a comprehensive information resource on a full range of physical and mental health issues experienced by young people.

April 2016 to the end of March 2017

  • Reach and maintain waiting time targets
  • Develop a ‘front door’ for referrals so that referrals are more seamless for children and young people accessing services.
  • Launch the West Berkshire Emotional Health Academy as a hub for training emotional health workers and the children's workforce – providing early intervention for children and young people requiring support.
  • Review and assess services provided for children and young people, to ensure the right services are in place and people can access easily. This includes special attention to services for designed for children and young people with ASD or learning difficulties.
  • Ensure mothers find it easier to access advice and support if they think they may need it during their pregnancy or following birth.
  • An enhanced community eating disorders service is operational
  • Training for staff right across the range of services that are in contact with children, young people and their families, such as teachers, nurses, doctors and health visitors.
  • Launch a pilot project looking at enhanced service at Royal Berkshire Hospital for children and young people.
  • Launch an expanded SHaRON online support service for children with mental health problems and for women who are experiencing perinatal mental health difficulties.
  • Provide more support for families of children with conduct disorder and challenging behaviour.

April 2017 to the end of March 2018

  • Monitoring waiting times closely to ensure improvements are maintained and, if possible, to make waiting times shorter still.
  • Implementing changes following the review of services in 2016/17.
  • Looking at how young people move between different types of care and treatment, depending on how unwell they are (it’s important that people can move out of hospital or residential care as they recover and get better, as this change can contribute to their recovery.)
  • Develop a treatment pathway for conduct disorder and challenging behaviour.

From April 2018 to the end of March 2019

During the final year of the plan we’ll be starting to use the pathway for conduct disorder and challenging behaviour. NHS England is responsible for services for those who are most unwell and need to be in a secure place; it is also responsible for mental health services for those children and young people that come into contact with the police and criminal courts. We will be looking at how these services and the services provided by other organisations can work best together.


The full Children and Young People's Mental Health Taskforce Report including Future in Mind, is published on GOV.UK

YoungMinds is the UK’s leading charity committed to improving the emotional wellbeing and mental health of children and young people: www.youngminds.org.uk.

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