Funding has been announced for eight pilot schemes to test innovative new services for children and young people with mental health issues.
Pilots in Devon, Derbyshire, Newcastle, Tameside and Glossop, Norfolk, Southampton, Wolverhampton and South Sefton have all been awarded up to £75,000 to develop their plans.
“By intervening effectively for young people when they begin to show signs of mental health problems we can significantly lower the chances of them needing specialist inpatient care”
NHS England said the funding would allow staff to reassess the systems currently in place to commission Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) from schools up to inpatient beds.
Examples include improving services for children who might not need inpatient CAMHS care, but have serious problems with self-harm or drug abuse, and helping schools to manage early signs of mental health problems in pupils.
Dr Martin McShane, NHS England’s director for people with long term conditions, said: “We know that by intervening effectively for young people when they begin to show signs of mental health problems we can significantly lower the chances of them needing specialist inpatient care.
“We want to accelerate breaking down barriers in the system and give commissioners, across a range of organisations, the time and space to take a step back and consider new and more effective ways of working,” he said.
Bids for a slice of £500,000 were received from 149 clinical commissioning groups. Successful schemes were chosen by the Department of Health, the Department of Education and NHS England.
Funding for the pilots has come from the £40m announced in October by NHS England chief executive Simon Stevens and deputy prime minister Nick Clegg. The money will be released immediately for use until the end of March.
In July, NHS England published a report which found problems relating to accessing specialist inpatient beds and patients being admitted to services a long way from home.
Following the report, the Children and Young People’s Mental Health and Well-being Taskforce was set up to look at improving services.
The pilot schemes are one of its first pieces of work. They will cover the whole care pathway for CAMHS care, from universal services provided in locations like schools through to inpatient services.