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Extra help for children in crisis

​A new out-of-hours crisis service designed to give children and young people 24/7 access to specialist mental health support is set to launch thanks to a £456,000 investment from Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust (NSFT).

The service, which will operate across Norfolk and Waveney, will begin in early 2017, and will see staff carry out out-of-hours assessments at acute general hospitals.

Its aim is to provide children and young people who are facing a mental health crisis outside of normal working hours with the right help and support, in turn preventing an admission to a mental health inpatient unit. It expands on the successful service which is already in place to provide care during the working day.

The new service has been made possible after NHS England awarded Norfolk and Waveney an additional £1.9m each year to further develop services for children and young people. NSFT has worked with Norfolk County Council and the area’s five clinical commissioning groups to plan how the money will be spent to benefit the greatest number of people.

The 24/7 crisis service just one of a range of improvements which have been developed as a result. Over the next few months, other new and innovative services will be available to children and young people, including a single point of contact which will help young people and their families to get help more quickly.

Andy Goff, CAMHS Improvement and Development Manager with NSFT said: “We are delighted that this money has allowed us to expand our children and young person’s service to provide 24/7 crisis support across Norfolk and Waveney.

“We have listened to our young people and worked with our partners to develop the service, which will make sure this group get the help and support they need to prevent an admission into an inpatient unit.

“We will also be rolling out a training programme to first responders, colleagues working in general hospitals and others who respond in a crisis to make sure they have the necessary skills to provide the right support when these vulnerable people need it the most.”

The Trust is now launching a recruitment campaign to attract staff from around the country to join its youth service. All positions will be advertised on the NHS Jobs website, with applications opening on 14 November.

Jobs will also be promoted via a Twitter campaign, which will use the hashtag #NewBeginningNewCareer