To consider a report by the Interim Executive Director – People (Cumbria County Council) (copy enclosed).
The Board received a report from the Interim Director – People which gave an update on the North Cumbria Children’s Transformation Plan. Members were informed that this year had seen a final refresh of the Plan as part of the national, government programme, ‘Future in Mind – Promoting, Protecting and Improving our Children and Young People’s Mental Health and Wellbeing’ (DoH 2015). It was explained the refresh of the North Cumbria Local Transformation Plan set out how the transformation work would continue to improve support services in 2020 and beyond.
Members were informed the 2019-2020 refresh of the Plan acknowledged the significant changes in service organisation and provision since 2015 and identified the challenges to achieving and maintaining our vision that ‘All our children and young people can access the support they need to achieve emotional wellbeing and mental health and have the ability and confidence to ride life’s inevitable ups and downs, now and in the future’. It was explained the transformation process required for this priority health area did not come to an end this year and would continue in modified form as further improvement was achieved and embedded in services. The Plan also highlighted a number of achievements during the last four years and set out how priorities going forward would be addressed.
The Board noted the key objectives for the coming year which included working with all schools and FE Colleges in North Cumbria to further develop the school support offer. During the course of discussion concerns were raised regarding whether schools would not be equipped to deal with all issues. Attention was drawn to the provision of bespoke training and advice to schools by the Public Health Nursing Team and it was suggested that the leads could be approached with a view to producing a strategy plan for support to schools.
Officers informed members that work was being undertaken with ICS partners to develop different mechanisms of engagement with schools and would form part of the Cumbria Outcomes Framework.
During the course of discussion officers highlighted that the whole system approach continued to be central to this work and that partnership working remained strong and robust. It was emphasised that whilst services appeared different in terms of approach consistency of outcomes was important.
The Board noted that specialist services during 2015–2017 were predominantly focussed on the development of models for the services that were requirements as part of the Future in Mind initiative. Officers highlighted that by the end of 2017 a crisis support model was agreed and implemented in north Cumbria, resulting in significant improvements in support and access for children and young people experiencing a mental health crisis. Members were informed that by the end of 2018 a perinatal mental health service and community eating disorder service had both been established and that 2018-2019 saw significant reduction in waiting times for specialist help which had been largely maintained.
A discussion took place regarding the action plan and the lack of details regarding the allocation of actions. Officers confirmed that the information did exist but had been omitted from the Plan due to the size.
The importance of the implementation of the Strategy to reduce the impact of adverse childhood experiences and development of a trauma informed system across all services and communities was highlighted.
Members discussed the increasing number of pupils excluded from schools and how challenging behaviour was dealt with. During the course of discussion concerns were raised regarding the number of pupils referred to pupil referral units which had resulted in alternative education provision being investigated. Officers informed the Board that the number of exclusions in Cumbria were low, highlighting the positive work undertaken by Exclusion Panels to provide additional support for challenging children.
A discussion took place regarding the 18 weeks’ referral to treatment target and the Board felt this was not acceptable and that there should be a more challenging target included to aim to improve services. The Executive Lead from North Cumbria Integrated Care NHS Foundation Trust informed members that the System Leadership Board would be looking at this in the next few weeks.
The Board welcomed the Plan and positive joint working which was being undertaken. Members were pleased with the principles of the nationally adopted ‘THRIVE’ framework which would support the building of resilience and independence in families as well as better equip early help and preventative services to identify emotional wellbeing and mental health needs early, and respond appropriately.
The Chair, on behalf of the Board, thanked officers for the positive work they had undertaken.
(1) the content be noted;
(2) the approach set out in the Refresh of the North Cumbria Children and Young People’s Resilience Emotional Wellbeing and Mental Health Local Transformation Plan Refresh 2019-2020 be endorsed subject to the review of the 18 week referral to treatment target by the System Leadership Board.