GIRFT pilot to address challenges in community mental health services for children and young people gets under way

A new Getting It Right First Time (GIRFT) pilot project is under way to help understand the challenges in community mental health services for children and young people (CYP), and to identify solutions and best practice.

The GIRFT team are working with two ICBs – Hertfordshire & West Essex and Devon – to examine the underlying causes of long waiting lists, and to offer support on how they can optimise resources.

Using GIRFT’s tried and tested methodology, data packs are being developed to frame discussions with the ICBs, enabling them to identify the key challenges in their system and how things might be improved. The aim is for the full system and pathway to be considered, which may include not only the services of NHS providers, but also those provided by local authorities, the voluntary sector, and educational institutions.

Clinically-led weekly multidisciplinary (MDT) meetings are in place to review and discuss the data as it emerges. The MDT comprises representatives across all CYPMH professionals, organisations across the ICB, and from the national CYP mental health policy team and the regional teams, to ensure all aspects have been considered in the co-design of a universal improvement offer.

Alongside the pilot, NHS England is running a month-long online focus on CYP mental health to gather learning and ideas on how to improve waiting times and make services more accessible. Via the Solving Together platform, partners involved in the CYPMH pathway – professionals, children and young people and their families – have until 10th November to have a say on the issue, with the ideas and best practice captured helping to shape NHS services in the future.

The new GIRFT pilot has been constructed to complement the Solving Together initiative, to help better understand the challenges in access and waiting times and to develop a more hands-on support offer.

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