The NHSE/I Children and Young People’s Mental Health Programme (CYPMH)team wanted to replace their existing demand and capacity model as the current version had low engagement. A new approach was required to assist children and young people’s mental health systems to carry out evidence based future planning and to increase their engagement with the model. An added challenge came as a result of the emerging pandemic situation in early 2020, where the launch of the tool needed to be expedited to help mental health systems to respond to the COVID19 crisis.
We had been providing a support desk function for the old tool for several years. In April 2019 we began discussions about reinventing it. We gathered feedback from existing users, non users those who had experience of the tool but had disengaged, as well as from non mental health colleagues for a more objective view. Following this feedback we decided to change the name to ‘CReST’ (Children and Young People's Mental Health Referral System Management Tool) to help with a relaunch and gain fresh interest (removing any previous connotations with the tool).
We designed and built a new website and demand and capacity tool working collaboratively with partners and stakeholders across NHSE/I, regional NHSE/I colleagues, systems, providers, and an MDT across SCW, sharing continual iterative feedback to ensure the final product would meet the need of the target audience. To achieve this objective, it was specifically designed with language that would ‘talk’ to the CYPMH system audience, and was launched earlier than planned in March 2020 in response to COVID. In developing the tool we used the latest technology to ensure the tool provided its complex functionality in a very accessible and straight forward way. See the tool here http://dev.cypmh-model.nhs.uk/
The new tool has increased engagement by 5 times since launch with active users continuing to grow
It provides the supportive infrastructure to help systems respond in order to increase access to CYPMH services
The functionality enables evidence based planning for new CYPMH services and service redesign, which in the longer term will enable increased patient access on a consistent basis.
As part of our Mental Health Care offer, the tool facilitates a more holistic view and challenges systems to look at their demand in a new way, encouraging discussions between providers and commissioners to move from focusing on the money involved to focusing on what the best solution is.
The CYPMH tool featured in the national Mental Health, Learning Disabilities and Autism Covid-19 Demand and Capacity guidance and was also referenced in the Mental Health Implementation Plan for the Long Term Plan.
Feedback showed that the relaunched tool improved user experience and has supported considerable response to the COVID crisis after its early launch.
The initiative has had international interest, in particular a CYPMH service in Australia has begun to use the tool.