Dr David Crichton’s blog: Doncaster’s new front door service improves access to young people’s mental health services

New front door service improves access to young people’s mental health services

Over the last year, Doncaster has made good progress in working together to create joined up services to support families, those who care for children and young people, improving their mental health and well-being.

Published yesterday, our Local Transformation Plan (LTP) for children and young people’s mental health and well-being highlights the work that has been done over the last 12 months, including some of the priorities that we will continue to work towards and address over the next year.

I’d like to take this opportunity to share some of this success.

Over the last two years, health and well-being services in Doncaster have worked closely with education services, schools, academies and colleges. Developing a positive relationship with education and linking them to Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHs) is a particular area of focus and has been crucial in supporting new ways of working, shifting our focus to early help and prevention.

This year, a new one stop shop for children and young people was created, known as the ‘Children’s front door.’ It provides a safe place for children and young people to access help and support. The front door means that referrals for a range of support, such as early help, emotional and mental well-being and safeguarding are addressed by a multi-agency team. This has resulted in more holistic and timely support for children and young people, addressing concerns and issues more quickly. In addition, the CAMHs support has also linked into the front door, operating a new e-clinic. To date, this has operated with one nominated school, enabling pupils from that school to access a CAMHs worker via an app once per week. This has not only diversified access to services but also provides a different way of talking to children and young people in ways they are more comfortable with.

I am pleased that our partnership work continues to reduce waiting times for children and young people’s to access mental health services. In a recent report, Rotherham, Doncaster and South Humber NHS Foundation Trust has been named the sixth best in the country for access and waiting times. This has only been possible by health and care organisations working closely together to meet the needs in a timely manner.

Doncaster has been asked to express an interest in potentially becoming a trailblazer site for the recommendations from The Green Paper, which includes piloting a four week waiting time to access CAMHs and developing mental health support teams for schools – we should know if we have been successful in this application by the end of the year.

We will place a particular focus on improving our engagement and will work with children and young people to develop, design and publish a younger person’s version of the document so they can further help, shape and steer future services.

The updated LTP can be found here.