Residents in Wiltshire, Bath and North East Somerset and Swindon are being invited to help shape the way future support for children and young people with mental health concerns is delivered.
From April 2018 Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) will be delivered across the three areas providing seamless care and support for children and young people who are facing mental health difficulties or illness.
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.
A series of consultation activities will take place between now and June where parents & carers, children & young people and health, education and social care professionals can help shape how the new service is delivered. Details of these events will be available on council and CCG websites nearer the time.
Kirstie Stage, one of the young representatives from the CAMHS commissioning group 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.”
Matthew Jameison, another young representative added: “Having young people be involved in creating and updating services is really important as not only might they put forward ideas that are innovative and unique but also contribute to developing themselves and becoming better people as a result. As a former CAMHS service user being able to help recommission the service was great as in a lot of ways it felt like giving back to a service that really helped me in the past.”
Laura Mayes, cabinet member for children’s services at Wiltshire Council said: “Young people today are under tremendous pressure and it is so important they can be supported through difficult times. CAMHS is a key part of that support and I believe gathering people’s views now will be crucial in ensuring this vital service continues to have a positive impact on young lives into the future.”
Ted Wilson, Community and Joint Commissioning Director, Wiltshire Clinical Commissioning Group said “The new joint service will be based on outcomes designed by service users and will reflect the needs and views of the children, young people, and their carers. It’s really important for us to involve young people to help shape and develop these services. We believe these new services will create an opportunity to provide a much wider choice for how children, young people and their families engage with local services.”
Dr Ian Orpen, Clinical Chair of Bath and North East Somerset Clinical Commissioning Group 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.”
Fionuala Foley, cabinet member for children’s services at Swindon Borough Council said: “We would like to actively engage with as many people as possible to gather their views on how we can develop a flexible service model that meets the needs of our children and young people in Swindon.”
Members of the public wishing to have their say can email their thoughts to firstname.lastname@example.org putting ‘CAMHS’ in the subject line.