£1m funding to help prevent children being admitted to mental health units in Suffolk
PUBLISHED: 18:40 28 January 2020 | UPDATED: 08:42 29 January 2020
£1 million in NHS funding promises a new service to help prevent Suffolk children needing to be admitted to psychiatric facilities for mental health.
Extra NHS funding is being made available for a new service to offer outreach services to young people struggling with their mental health.
The £1million investment will fund an outreach programme where specialists visit young people in the comfort of their own environment, and hopefully reduce the need for youngsters to be admitted to an acute unit.
The Ipswich and East Suffolk and West Suffolk Clinical Commissioning Groups will receive a total of £973,660 over two years to fund the new service.
Lianne Nunn, associate director of Children and Young People Mental Health, is certain that the outreach programme will change the lives of those seeking care.
She said: "There is currently no specialist service for under 18s like this in Suffolk so we are really happy to be able to provide one.
"Our community teams are seeing an increased demand for services, and inpatient admissions in Suffolk are higher than we want them to be.
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"This will let us work with young people in their own environment."
In addition, the increased funding will introduce a 'personal health budget' of £500 per family to go towards whatever the young person might need to help them to feel better.
"This could mean buying a new laptop or phone to ensure they socialise with their friends or even as simple as a new pair of trainers to make them feel confident to go out in them," Ms Nunn explained.
"The data shows that this works and that this as a preventative measure is really beneficial, so we're really pleased to be able to offer it."
The funding allocation has been based on a similar model operating in Norfolk and should support roughly 70 families.
That figure represents the number of young people admitted to an acute unit in Suffolk over the past two years.
"Whilst we are seeing an increase in those needing services, it is true that mental health is being talked about more," Ms Nunn added.
"This rise can also be attributed to the ability to talk about it and seeking help being more acceptable."
The new service will be implemented from October 2020 and the first phase will run to the end of the financial year.