Children and young people

The NHS Long Term Plan sets out the priorities for expanding Children and Young People’s Mental Health Services (CYPMHS) over the next 10 years.

It aims to widen access to services closer to home, reduce unnecessary delays, and deliver specialist mental health care which is based on a clearer understanding of young people’s needs and provided in ways that work better for them.

To achieve this, we are supporting commissioners to develop effective, evidence-based services that combine local, system-wide leadership and ownership with the participation of essential partners including children, families and carers.

We will build on the major service transformation programme which has, since 2015, been re-shaping the way services are commissioned and delivered, in line with proposals put forward in Future in Mind.

This transformation has helped the NHS to widen access to CYPMHS and we are on track to meet our commitment from the Five Year Forward View for Mental Health, to ensure 70,000 more children and young people can access treatment each year by 2020/21.

Close to 325,000 children and young people were treated through NHS commissioned community services in 2017/18. This is equivalent to approximately 30.5% of children and young people with a diagnosable mental health condition, compared with an estimated 25% in 2014/15, which exceeds our trajectory to improve access at this stage of the programme.

By 2023/24, at least an additional 345,000 children and young people aged 0-25 will be able to access support via NHS-funded mental health services, including through schools and colleges.

The Government has pledged £1.25 billion by 2020 to support improvements in children and young people’s mental health and wellbeing, along with £150 million for eating disorder services.

Funding to deliver the NHS Long Term Plan includes further additional investment, and this will grow faster than both NHS funding and mental health investment overall.

We will work to:

  • Support commissioners and providers to maintain improvements in supporting children, young people and those who care for them to be more fully involved in their care and in the development and feedback to services
  • Support Commissioners to develop integrated services with clear care pathways from early intervention to crisis and inpatient care
  • Support joined up commissioning between CCGs and NHS England specialist commissioning
  • Support commissioners to develop the infrastructure to deliver services that can demonstrate outputs and outcomes, including waiting and access times
  • Work with Health Education England to support workforce planning
  • Work with other partners across the system to implement the agreed outcomes from the Five Year Forward View for Mental Health and Future in Mind and to meet the priorities and standards set out in the NHS Long Term Plan.

Working in partnership with children and young people and families is an essential element of our work. Our nationally commissioned participation partner is YoungMinds through the Amplified programme.

Commissioning values-based, outcomes-focused, evidence-based children and young people’s mental health services (CYPMHS) to achieve accessible and comprehensive care pathways across the statutory and voluntary sectors requires sophisticated partnership working and understanding of planning interventions for a wide range of problems. We have a range of commissioning resources to support local areas.