Father and daughter walking

Delivering the CAMHS Hackathon Programme

NHS England and Improvement South East held an all-day hackathon event focused on the Children and Young People (CYP) Eating Disorder (ED) pathway in the region. The event identified ways to manage the immediate growth in CYP requiring ED services. As a result, we were asked to provide programme management for a regional workstream, to deliver the CAMHS Hackathon recommendations.  


On 5 November 2021, NHS England and Improvement South East held an all-day hackathon event focused on the CYP ED pathway in the region, facilitated by an external partner. The event aimed to identify and take forward ways to reduce waiting times for community interventions, reduce the crisis response in acute units and manage the immediate growth in CYP requiring ED services. Key actions were generated to be delivered across the region in 30, 60 and 90 days. 

Due to the fast-paced nature of the event and subsequent outputs (actions), we were asked to provide programme management support to track the progress against all actions, for all six systems in the SE and the regional team.  Additionally, regular communications were required to demonstrate progress against delivery and continue with the momentum and engagement already established across the region.  

We completed a final evaluation of the programme following the 90 days, which reviewed the progress of actions and its impact on CYP ED pathways.  


Within a short timeframe, we developed and actioned the following, ensuring robust programme methodologies were utilised and strong stakeholder management throughout:

  • System and region return trackers to capture weekly progress against all actions
  • Weekly reporting updates and communications for the region
  • Liaison with system leads and regional leads to troubleshoot queries/challenges promptly
  • Objective evaluation of the programme, using an online survey platform compliant with NHS IG requirements and semi-structured feedback sessions with the 6 ICSs and regional colleagues


We acted as an objective partner throughout the programme and subsequent evaluation, holding the region and systems to account for the delivery of actions and ensuring accurate updates of progress.  Being impartial enabled the system and regional colleagues to be open and honest with their feedback on the programme. This ensured a valid reflection of successes and challenges, as well as informing learning for the next steps across the region. 

Five key recommendations were drawn out:

  • Continuation of sharing and learning across the region, to understand best practice and how this has been achieved, and to reduce duplication of resource development. Regional shared learning events to take place biannually and be facilitated by the regional team. 
  • Systems to lead on the appropriate course of action to complete all outstanding actions and agree on the delivery plan with regional colleagues by 28 April 2022. 
  • The role of primary care in CYP ED pathways and ARFID/disordered eating were flagged across the region as an additional need for exploration, understanding, and action.
  • Communication updates from the regional to system colleagues are a useful way to update on progress in the ED pathway in the South East region and demonstrate individual system development. 
  • Using an agreed methodology, systems are to consider a baselining exercise to demonstrate the intricacies of the CYP ED pathway (in its totality).

To find out more, contact our mental health team.


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