Children and Young People’s Improving Access to Psychological Therapies Programme

The Children and Young People’s Improving Access to Psychological Therapies programme (CYP IAPT) is a service transformation programme delivered by NHS England that aims to improve existing Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) working in the community.

The programme works to transform existing services provided by the NHS and partners from Local Authority and Third Sector that together form local area CAMHS Partnerships. The programme aims to create, across staff and services, a culture of full collaboration between child, young person and/or their parent or carer by:

  • using regular feedback and IAPT’s trademark session-by-session outcome monitoring to guide therapy in the room, but using a mixture of goals and symptom measures suitable for all those presenting to community CAMHS, not just anxiety and depression. See CORC’s website for more details.
  • improving user participation in treatment, service design and delivery
  • improving access to evidence-based therapies by training existing CAMHS staff in targeted and specialist services in an agreed, standardised curriculum of NICE approved and best evidence-based therapies
  • training managers and service leads in change, demand and capacity management
  • improving access through self-referral.

This programme does not create standalone services, but works to embed the above principles into existing services providing mental health care to children and young people. The programme began in 2011 with a target to work with CAMHS that cover 60% of the 0-19 population by March 2015, which is has exceeded, achieving 68%. We are now working to achieve 100% coverage by 2018.

Mental Health Services Passport

As part of the CYP IAPT Improving Integrated Services Task and Finish Group, young people and parent/carers told us how they wanted to be empowered to share their own information to inform future therapeutic work, and to help communication and integration between different services. Following this, NHS England, young people and parent/carers worked together to develop a Mental Health Services Passport template. Each passport is to be created by a young person or parent/carer (for younger children) with the support of their practitioner. The aim of the passport is to help young people using services, or parents with for younger children, to own and communicate their story when moving between different services. It provides a summary of the time in the service which will be owned by the young people or parent/carer to be shared with any future services if and when they wish. The passport is recommended in Future in Mind.