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Transformed emotional wellbeing and mental health service for Surrey’s children and young people gets underway

A new alliance of NHS, national and local voluntary sector organisations has come together to deliver a transformed emotional wellbeing and mental health service for Surrey’s children, young people and families. It will provide a new and broader range of services for children and families and adopt the THRIVE Framework developed by the Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust and the Anna Freud National Centre For Children and Families.

Implementing the THRIVE Framework means children, young people and families will have a central voice in decisions about their care, and goals identified by them will drive what they choose to help achieve them. This might be through Getting Advice and Signposting, Getting Help, Getting More Help or sometimes Getting Risk Support. There will be a greater emphasis on providing support earlier, and more opportunity to access a range of services in many different ways and settings.

The new range of services will be rolled out in two phases: phase one (April to September 2021), and phase two (October 2021 to April 2022). This will help ensure that families will be safe and well supported while changes are introduced, and feedback will be reviewed and incorporated along the way to ensure the new services are as effective as possible. In the short term, any support and treatment plans in place will continue and, for now, access to services will continue to be via the usual contact details.

A significant increase in funding will help improve and increase services. There will be a substantial number of changes and improvements over the next two years, with the following changes to be seen very soon:

  • Considerably increased staff resource – more than 100 new staff over the next year or two combined with a two-year programme of training to be delivered by the Tavistock and Portman Clinical Programme Team alongside the National i-THRIVE Programme.
  • Transformed neurodevelopmental services which will, for the first time, introduce treatment offers
  • 24/7 Crisis line for children, young people and families
  • Out-of-hours advice for families struggling with extremely challenging behaviour
  • Widened assertive outreach for vulnerable children
  • Introduction of a wellbeing passport
  • Far easier self-referral
  • New activity-based wellbeing campaigns

Overall, there will be a greater focus on providing support when emotional wellbeing or mental health needs begin to emerge. Professionals in schools, primary care and the community will receive increased support and training to be able to help earlier and prevent a deterioration in emotional wellbeing and mental health.

 A young person, aged 17, who currently accesses emotional wellbeing and mental health support in Surrey said: “I like the fact that there are lots of options that are now easy to find out about, before I felt it was hard to know where to go or who to ask for support.”

 Dr Tosin Bowen-Wright, Consultant Clinical Psychologist and Clinical Programme Lead for the Tavistock and Portman Surrey Clinical Programme Team, said “This is an exciting time for services providing support to children, young people and families in the county of Surrey. We are thrilled to be part of this Alliance Partnership to support the implementation of the THRIVE Framework for system change, a process which will bring the voices of children, young people and their parents or carers to the heart of decision making about service provision across the county”

 The new provision has been developed in partnership with children, young people and professionals and will see services transformed across Surrey. It puts the wants and needs of the child or young person first and provides a greater choice of support available both for the young person and for families.