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Children and young peoples' mental health services

We are supporting NHS England on transforming children and young peoples’ mental health services by delivering a number of projects across England.

The national benchmarking study of the Children and Young People’s Mental Health (CYPMH) workforce indicates an encouraging trend of growth, particularly in NHS employed staff, where numbers have increased by almost a quarter in the two years from 2016 to 2018, since the last benchmarking report was completed. 

The 2019 report analysed data from 2018 in the following sectors:

- NHS providers

- Local Authorities

- Independent sector providers

- Voluntary sector

- Youth Justice (Youth Offending Teams).

The report shows that the workforce grew by 17%, with the NHS-employed workforce increasing by 23% - both increases in a period covered by the NHS Five Year Forward View for Mental Health. This publication pledged a commitment - backed with additional funding - to ensure better access to NHS mental health community services for children and young people, supported by an increase in specialist, highly skilled staff.

The NHS Long Term Plan sets out plans for even greater access to high-quality, evidence-based mental health care and support needed by children and young people, and their families and carers.

HEE will award funds to organisations to develop initiatives to support workforce transformation, development and training that will improve mental health outcomes for children and young people within identified vulnerable groups.

Following the success of the projects funded in 2015/16, we have run a second procurement exercise to commission providers to deliver initiatives that support workforce transformation, development and training that aim to improve mental health outcomes for vulnerable children and young people.

Related documents.

We're commissioning training that supports the 'Access and Waiting Time Standard and Commissioning Guidance for Children and Young People with an Eating Disorder' published by the National Collaborating Centre for Mental Health and NHS England in August 2015.

An integral part of the children and young people’s mental health programme in NHS England is to build capacity and capability and improve delivery of mental health care. As part of the programme, they are building on CYP IAPT systemic family practice for eating disorders curriculum to develop further curricula and a whole team training specification to improve access to evidence based interventions for children and young people with an eating disorder.

We'll be working with NHS England to set up an evidence based eating disorder team specification and curricula group to develop:

- a whole team training specification
- curriculum for each evidence based therapeutic modality for the treatment of eating disorders.

The eating disorder whole-team training specification and curricula will be delivered by educational providers and training practitioners to support teams to deliver NICE compliant evidence-based eating disorder interventions.

Related documents.

CYP IAPT is a service transformation programme that aims to improve existing child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS) and transform services provided by the NHS and partners from local authority and third sector that together form local area CAMHS partnerships.

We've taken over the commissioning of this programme from NHS England and are planning to cover 100% of England by 2018. This may involve the creation of new collaboratives or the provision of satellite training centres managed by existing collaboratives. The involvement of children, young people and their families in the design and delivery of training remains paramount.

Related documents. 

We  received funding from the Department of Health to support NHS England in meeting national targets to expand the workforce providing children and young people’s mental health services.

Service providers and Clinical Commissioning Groups should note the ambitions of Future in Mind and extracts from Implementing the Five Year Forward View for Mental Health.

To encourage expansion of the children and young people’s mental health workforce, HEE comissioned two training routes offering 100% financial contribution to salary and training costs in the first year of employment.

Psychological Wellbeing Practitioners (PWP)

This is a new role to deliver ‘low intensity’ mental health interventions to children and young people. A specimen job description is available below which services may adapt to meet their needs.

Recruit to Train (RtT)

This scheme requires service providers to create an appropriate new post to train and deliver NICE concordant psychological therapies to children and young people. There are a range of courses available which are currently delivered through the CYP IAPT programme. Service providers who are not currently part of a CYP IAPT collaborative would be expected to join a collaborative as a condition of accepting this offer. More advice on what this would involve is available through the contacts below.

Related documents.