A multi-million-pound contract that will transform emotional health and well-being services for those aged 0-25 across Telford and Wrekin and Shropshire has now been awarded. The new service which has been designed in part by local young people, parents and carers will promote emotional resilience, help to prevent mental health crises and respond quickly to the mental health needs of children and young people. It will provide a much wider choice of service options for how children, young people and families engage with local services.
The contract has been awarded to South Staffordshire and Shropshire Foundation Trust (SSSFT) who will act as the lead in a partnership of organisations made up of Shropshire Community NHS Trust (the existing provider), Kooth (an online service that offers emotional and mental health support for children and young people), Healios (specialists in online counselling) and The Children’s Society.
Telford & Wrekin and Shropshire Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs), teamed up with Telford & Wrekin Council and Shropshire Council to start the procurement process earlier in the year to commission a new service that is due to launch in May 2017.
Anna Hammond (Telford and Wrekin CCG) who has been leading the project on behalf of the four partner organisations said: “As part of the procurement process we have done a huge amount of engagement work with young people, service users, parents, carers, staff, organisations and stakeholders who have told us what they want to see as part of any new service. It has been extremely important to us as we wanted young people to have a real say on the services that are being created for them.”
“The new service is very much based on outcomes designed by service users and aims to strike a balance between offering potential service providers enough detail to plan services effectively but with enough space to innovate, improve and co-design local services with children, young people and their parent or carers. I am delighted that we have awarded the contract and look forward to working with the partnership led by SSSFT to deliver the best mental health services possible for the children and young people of Telford and Wrekin and Shropshire” Anna added.
Dr Alan Otter, GP lead for the project explained: “The model we are using reflects the needs and views of the children, young people, and their carers involved in the engagement work, who told us they wanted to see an excellent service delivered by a range of local organisations, including the voluntary and community sector. We believe the new service will create an opportunity to bring together the best talent the market has to offer, under one contract, whilst improving how services for children and young people are organised and delivered,” he explained.
Neil Car CEO of South Staffordshire and Shropshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust said: “We are delighted to be the lead partner for this exciting and innovative service. Our NHS Trust has worked in Shropshire for many years, running adult inpatient and community mental health services, so it makes sense to link the services together. We are proud to be rated by the CQC as a good Trust and collaboratively, we all have the proven experience and compassion to make a real positive difference to patient care for this age group”.