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Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust launches pilot youth scheme
The Trust will next week launch a new pilot youth service offering support, early detection and reaching out to marginalised groups for young people with complex mental health needs – so helping to bridge the gap between its existing child and adult services.
The pilot service is geared to support 14 to 25-year-olds, and will operate in the Norfolk and Waveney part of the Trust’s catchment area.
At present the Trust’s child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS) teams work with children and young people up to the age of 18, after which they must make the transition from child to adult mental health services.
“The new service will ensure that people receive help in a seamless way” said Paul Johnson, operational manager for the youth service in Norwich. “We will work more intensively with young people, and we hope this improved service will help to reduce hospital admissions.
“We know that it can be difficult for young people to maintain connections with friends and family when they go into hospital, and that it can be extremely difficult to restore those connections. We hope our new service will change that.”
The new service forms part of the Trust’s plans to redesign services under its Radical Pathway Redesign programme. The programme, which is led by clinicians and was developed in partnership with NHS Norfolk and Waveney, takes a fresh look at how and where services are delivered.
The youth service will have bases in Norwich, where it will be led by Dr Jon Wilson and Karen Wheeler; Great Yarmouth and Waveney (Dr Uju Ugochukwu, Dr Sarah Maxwell and Norma Howe); and King’s Lynn (Di Leeder).
It will work alongside partners such as the MAP (Mancroft Advice Project) youth counselling service, in Norwich, Youngminds in Great Yarmouth and the Trust’s CAMHS service.
The pilot scheme also incorporates a significant element of research, with Dr Fowler carrying out a 12-month project to assess how the service is running.
The launch of the youth service marks the latest in a string of Trust initiatives to enhance its range of services for young people.
This summer the Trust will launch its first-ever CAMHS inpatient unit at Oulton, near Lowestoft. This marks a major improvement for young people who need inpatient care as it means they can be treated closer to home.
These young people currently have to attend inpatient units outside Norfolk and Suffolk, which can lead to them becoming isolated from their friends and family members who face long journeys to visit them. Patients consequently tend to have longer stays, and the distance also necessitates lengthy journeys for the clinicians who are overseeing their care.
Meanwhile, in another initiative, Trust chief executive Aidan Thomas has announced plans to set up a new youth governors group. It is hoped that this will help young people to become more engaged in the Trust’s services, and that the Trust will gain valuable insights from the youth governors’ views​