This follows a most capable provider tender process awarding a five year contract.

The new model has been developed in partnership with the Oxfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group and local stakeholders following a review of Oxfordshire Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) and aligned to the vision of the Future in Mind* report published in 2015.

The new Oxfordshire CAMHS will provide an integrated service with third sector partners that will build community and individual resilience, educate other agencies around emotional wellbeing and mental health, prevention, early consultation, advice, treatment and self-management.

Our third sector partners will support CAMHS provision to add value to the services offered to the local community. These partners include:

  • Response
  • Oxfordshire Youth
  • SOFEA  (South Oxfordshire Food and Education Association)
  • TRAX
  • RAW
  • Ark T
  • Synolos
  • BYHP (Banbury Young Homeless Project)

CAMHS in Oxfordshire will work across the different aspects of treatment from early intervention and initial diagnosis, through to support and advice.

Andrea Shand, Head of service for Oxfordshire CAMHS, said: “We want our children and young people to be able to access the services they need, we know that children and young people’s emotional wellbeing and mental health affect all aspects of their lives.

“Because of this, it’s increasingly harder for one service alone to meet their needs.

“This new way of working will allow Oxford Health to work together with our partners for the benefit of children and young people.

“These new partners will be able to enhance the services offered and support provision in the community and by collaborating in this way we can provide a much broader, holistic approach to treating young people’s mental health issues than we have before.

“This is the first time mental health services have been commissioned and delivered for children and young people in Oxfordshire in this way.”

John McLaughlin, Chief Executive of Response, which is the lead third sector partner, said: “Response is delighted to be part of this innovative partnership model, which will fundamentally change the way we work with young people in Oxfordshire.

“It will provide a range of treatment and engagement opportunities for young people that are easy to access and will help build resilience and good mental health.”

Diane Hedges, Chief Operating Officer of Oxfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “We believe that the new contract with Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust will help reduce waiting times for young people needing mental health support. Access to mental health services for young people in Oxfordshire and across the country, has been a problem for some time. This new way of the NHS collaborating with the voluntary sector and delivering services will also improve outcomes for young people as they will have access to a wide range of mental health services and support tailored to their needs.”

Under the new system, staff from Barnardo’s will work alongside those from Oxford Health in a newly created single point of access team.

The Single Point of Access (SPA) will be the initial point of contact with the service for all.

Andrea Shand said: “We will accept calls and enquiries from any individual, including young people, who may want to find out about the service or who are worried about their mental health or wellbeing.

“If a young person needs help we will talk with them about involving their parents or other key adults to help. We will never turn away any young person who is asking for help and will engage them with the service or help them to get the help they need elsewhere.

“This represents a really exciting time for the treatment of mental health issues in children and young people here in Oxfordshire.”