South London NHS collaboration to manage budgets and provision of mental health care for young people

Friday, June 23, 2017

South London NHS collaboration to manage budgets and provision of mental health care for young people

Response to NHS England’s announcement: CAMHS new care models in tertiary services

The South London and Community Mental Health Partnership (SLMHCP) has been awarded a contract to manage the budgets and care for specialist child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS) across south London.


The Partnership - made up of Oxleas NHS Foundation Trust, South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust, and South West London and St George’s Mental Health NHS Trust – has been working as a hospital group since 2015, collaborating to improve quality, outcomes and efficiency.


NHS England made the announcement that the Partnership was one of five successful bids to both provide and manage the commissioning of Tier 4 CAMHS services across the country. Tier 4 services are those for young people with the most clinically complex and challenging emotional, behavioural or mental health problems. The news forms the second wave of NHS England’s drive to put local managers and clinicians in charge of both managing budgets and providing care for specialist and mental health services.


The aim of the Partnership’s Tier 4 CAMHS programme is to transform services by improving the experience of the patients and carers who use them, their overall quality, efficiency and productivity. Delivering this vision will require a new approach to commissioning and delivering these services.


Since 1 April 2017 South London and Community Mental Health Partnership has been delivering a new care model for forensic mental health services with the primary aim to bring patients who are being treated outside of the area back into local care as well as reducing costs. The partnership’s new care model for CAMHS will run in a similar way and will include:

  • A virtual hub to manage patients and contracts across the partnership and wider provider network. The hub will oversee quality of care and manage the return of children and young people into care that is nearer their homes in south London.
  • A single point of access for all patients who need specialist mental health treatment including assessment and triage and strengthening the capacity of community services.
  • Investment in out of hospital care pathways.
  • A programme of work to reduce inequalities in the system and improve the quality, safety and effectiveness of treatment.
  • Increased specialisation of care with some expert resources for use across the whole of south London, such as psychiatric intensive care, so that we see an improvement in the outcomes for children and young people with very complex needs.

Dr Matthew Patrick, one of the Senior Responsible Officers for the Partnership welcomed the news saying:


“On behalf of the Partnership I am very pleased that we have been given a shared opportunity to help improve the life chances of young people locally and to help prevent them from becoming the next generation of service users.


“We are committed to increasing the quality and capacity of the expert care we have to offer and we will work together with young people and their families to reassess how specialist CAMHS services are commissioned and delivered across south London.


“We have a responsibility to do everything we can to ensure that children and young people in south London receive mental health care near to their homes, without their family members having to travel far and wide to see them. Keeping young people near to home means facilitating links with their friends, family and schools which in turn will provide support and help them to maintain a sense life outside of hospital.”

Further information

  • In the HSJ on 23 June 2017, NHS England announced that the first phase of wave two will go live on 1 October 2017, with eleven sites to be devolved commissioning responsibility for local and medium secure adult, Tier 4 child and adolescent or adult eating disorder services. The total budget of the programme across both waves is around £640m, representing nearly 40% of the £1.824bn Specialised Commissioning mental health budget.

  •  Collectively, South London and Community Mental Health Partnership serves 12 London boroughs and a population of approximately 3.2million, at least 91 different nationalities and communities speaking a total of 200 or more languages. The child and adolescent population for south London is approximately 770,000 (0-18 years), sourced from the 2016 NHS Benchmarking Network.

  • Oxleas does not currently provide Tier 4 CAMHS services but have excellent experience providing intensive care in the community with referral pathways into South London and Maudsley’s CAMHS services.

  • The Partnership receives around 1,400 referrals to Tier 3 CAMHS per borough per year. Tier 4 CAMHS focuses on the most complex and clinically challenging 5% of the Tier 3 CAMHS population – around 70 children or young people per year.

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