Mental health services for Peterborough youths to be re-modelled after families and professionals left ‘confused’

Some mental health services for young people in Peterborough and Cambridgeshire are being re-modelled after a number of “problems” were identified.

Sunday, 25th July 2021, 4:45 pm

Since 2018, a number of emotional wellbeing and mental health services for children and young people across the county have been delivered by CHUMS.

The support from CHUMS was for youngsters whose ‘mild to moderate’ needs would not be met by other teams as they were not ‘severe’ enough to require more specialist intervention.

The aim was to prevent them from reaching crisis point in the first place.

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However, according to a new report by Peterborough City Council: “The problems experienced by CHUMS - very high referral rates, and more general ongoing feedback from service users and professionals, has highlighted the key challenges with the local mental health system.

“Children and young people are rebounding around services and silo working (a lack of shared information) is causing confusion for families and professionals left trying to navigate the plethora of unconnected services.”

The CHUMS services were jointly commissioned by the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Clinical Commissioning Group, Peterborough City Council and Cambridgeshire County Council.

The city council is the lead authority managing the contract on behalf of the three organisations, although it is jointly monitored.

The contract has now expired with the councils proposing to enter a partnership with the CCG to provide the services for the next five years.

Every year, Peterborough City Council will pay the CCG £750,000 (£500,000 from its core budget and £250,000 from its public health budget).

The overall contribution is £70,000 less than under the previous contract due to “financial pressures”, although the CCG is increasing its budget contribution and Cambridgeshire County Council is to provide £1.75 million.

The city council said that a “local partnership and collaboration model is a realistic option to better meet children and young people’s mental health needs in the future”.

CHUMS said: “CHUMS delivered the service for three-and-a-half years across Cambridgeshire and Peterborough until June 30, 2021. We supported during this time over 12,000 children and young people and 8,000 parent/carers, including giving advice and signposting to individual support, workshops and groups for children and young people and parent/carers.

“It was a privilege to have had the opportunity of working in the community and we appreciated the support we received from many which assisted us to improve lives for children, young people and their families.”