• Hertfordshire Partnership FT investing £1.3m to create new CAMHS community team
  • Recruiting 26 staff for dialectical behaviour therapy team to provide more treatment in the community and help out of area patients move closer to home
  • Part of new CAMHS pathway after being awarded new commissioning powers

A trust is investing more than £1m to pump-prime a new community team for young mental health patients.

Hertfordshire Partnership Foundation Trust is investing £1.3m to create a new dialectical behaviour therapy team as part of its child and adolescent mental health services pathway.

Tom cahill

Tom Cahill: ‘We have started but the real thing is the provision of the new service’

The trust is recruiting 26 staff to a team of nurses, support workers, DBT therapists, psychologists and two new consultants.

It is hoped the team will help the trust to bring back young people who have been sent out of its area for treatment as well as reduce the need for inpatient services by providing more support in the community.

Trust chief executive Tom Cahill said it was a “positive step” to providing alternative care for children and young people.

He said: “For CAMHS we are going to have community teams with much more intensive support for people rather than have them go out of county or into beds.

“We have started [the work] but the real thing is the provision of the new service.

“You can take over the budget and start to make inroads anyway.

“The idea is keeping a youngster from having to go out of county if they do not need to.”

Eliminating out of area placements – patients sent miles from their homes for treatment – is a key target of the Five Year Forward View for Mental Health.

The new team is the second phase of Hertfordshire Partnership’s plans to improve the CAMHS pathway after it was one of 17 providers to be awarded new commissioning powers from NHS England.

The national body has devolved £640m of specialised commissioning mental health funding – nearly 40 per cent of the total budget – directly to providers of CAMHS and adult secure services.

Hertfordshire Partnership was in the second wave of regions to be given devolved commissioning responsibility for CAMHS, announced in June 2017.

The trust is to be given devolved responsibility for the £7m, tier four CAMHS pathway across its footprint.

The first phase of the plans, which went live in October, was to assess the patients who were in beds outside the county to see how many could come back.

The trust has brought six children and young people back into its care so far, but it hopes the new team will help bring more children and young people back to local beds.