Sunderland’s young people to have better access to mental health services thanks to £250,000 in extra funding
More young people will be able to access mental health services in Sunderland following a £250,000 boost from health bosses.
This week, Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation gave an update to Sunderland councillors about the Children and Young Peoples’ Service in the city.
In action, the service provides support to all children and young people aged 0-18 who present with mental health difficulties.
This includes assessment, diagnosis and intervention, an eating disorder service and transition support for those approaching 18.
Between September and November last year, the service dealt with a total of 6,594 cases and 343 looked after children.
A report, presented to Sunderland City Council’s Corporate Parenting Board on January 21, revealed the trust will benefit from extra funding to reduce waiting list pressures.
This includes £182,000 from Sunderland’s Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and £68,000 one-off funding from NHS England.
The funding, which needs to be spent by the end of March, is also expected to free up staff to see more patients.
And councillors heard this would translate to an extra 125 young people using the service between January and March.
Other actions also include employing extra agency staff and launching a ‘digital dictation’ pilot to reduce paperwork and free up staff to see more patients.
Director of Integrated Commissioning at Sunderland CCG, Ian Holliday, has praised the scheme.
Speaking after the meeting, he said: “We’re supporting Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust with range of initiatives to reduce waiting times for mental health services for young people in Sunderland.
“This includes reviewing the way the service works, and allocating £182,000 to reduce the pressure on waiting lists over the next two months.
“This funding – together with an investment of £68,000 from NHS England – will mean extra staff to tackle waiting lists, as well as supporting steps to help staff spend more time seeing young people and less time on administration.”
The Children and Young People’s Service is based at Monkwearmouth Hospital in Newcastle Road, Sunderland.
Chris Binding , Local Democracy Reporting Service