Forward Thinking for Birmingham

By on 18/02/2015 in News

Forward Thinking Birmingham announced as preferred bidder for £124m mental health contract

Birmingham South Central Clinical Commissioning Group has announced Forward Thinking Birmingham, a new mental health partnership led by Birmingham Children’s Hospital, as the preferred bidder for a £124m five year contract to deliver mental health services for children, young people and young adults.

Forward Thinking Birmingham was chosen by the CCG and the children, young people and young adults involved in the process, for its innovative approach and range of entirely new services and facilities, focussed around the individual needs of 0-25 year olds.

Birmingham is the youngest city in Europe where at least one in 10 five to 16 year olds suffers from a diagnosable mental health disorder, which is around three in every classroom. Combining the expertise of Birmingham Children’s Hospital, Worcestershire Health and Care NHS Trust, the Priory Group, Beacon UK and The Children’s Society, the service will completely change the way that mental health is viewed and delivered in the city, giving it the same priority as physical health and wellbeing.

The service is based around prevention, choice and personalised care, to address the current problems faced in Birmingham, including disjointed and fragmented care provision, complicated service models, long waiting lists and increasing patient demand.

A single 24/7 phone number will enable immediate access to experts who will support children, young people, young adults, families, health professionals and those who work with children and young adults, in getting the services they need seamlessly. This could be from online and flexible support in the community to home-based care and urgent services. The new service will ensure that they no longer get ‘lost in the system’ thanks to the provision of a state-of-the-art integrated ‘one care plan’ patient management system, which they can access themselves for the first time.

Dr Diane Reeves, Accountable Officer for Birmingham South Central CCG said: “We believe this new service will be better for young people and their families, both now and in the future.

“We need to identify mental health issues as early as possible to ensure the best outcomes for our children and young people. The sooner we can get treatment or counselling for them, the sooner we can resolve the issue. We want to give every young person the opportunity to continue in education, training and employment, so their life isn’t defined or limited by their condition.

“We’re really pleased to announce the Forward Thinking Birmingham partnership as the preferred bidder for this brand new service. The partnership provides a completely new way of providing mental health services and puts young people at its heart. It was clear through the tender process that patient outcomes were the priority and Forward Thinking Birmingham proposed some creative solutions in making services accessible to young people.â€
Sarah-Jane Marsh, Chief Executive of Birmingham Children’s Hospital, said:

“We are truly delighted that Forward Thinking Birmingham is the preferred bidder for this important contract that will radically improve how mental health services are delivered across our city.

“It is well known that young people with mental health problems do not get access to the services they need and deserve, which can have a significant impact on them for the rest of their lives. For too long they have had to navigate a complicated mental health system where many slip through the net, unable to access the care they need at a crucial time of their lives.

“Our unique NHS, charity and independent partnership model has been designed with the needs of children, young people, young adults and families at its heart, transforming expectations of what mental health services can provide, with the intention of setting our young people on a path towards a healthier, happier and brighter future.â€

Judith Ferrarin, ‘Expert by Experience’ volunteer involved in the commissioner’s tender process, said:

“Through my valuable experience as a CCG volunteer I understand the distress that the current transition process can cause. It has been a minefield for young people and families who are often ill-prepared for the massive changes it brings, as effectively their support mechanisms are removed when they transfer into what are very different adult services.

“The time has finally come to change how our children and young people are cared for and I know Forward Thinking Birmingham will make a real difference for all children, young people, parents and carers in Birmingham.â€

The service includes a range of new services and facilities for Birmingham:
- Free and easy to access advice and support, online and in the community
- Proactive support, training and guidance for partners (GPs, schools etc.) around emotional and mental health and wellbeing
- Targeted outreach for ‘at risk’ groups, including support to encourage good infant mental health
- Outreach support for hard to hear and vulnerable community groups
‘One system’ personalised care:
- One phone number available to call 24-hours a day
- One care plan focused on helping service users achieve their goals
- One named individual responsible for their care
More choice based on personal goals, including:
- Online therapy solutions
- City-centre ‘Connect Support Hub’ drop-in centre
- Community ‘Child and Family Skills Centre’
- ‘Recovery Colleges’ in educational settings
Home based care:
- Intensive home treatment in a safe, familiar environment, supporting young people at home wherever possible to avoid the need for hospital admission
A new inpatient hospital for 18-25s:
- Giving young adults the very best facilities for inpatient care

The preferred bidder has been identified following an evaluation of tenders. It is recommended they are awarded the contract should a contract be awarded by the commissioners.


Media Enquiries
Birmingham South Central CCG – 0121 612 3888

Notes to editors
• The community mental health service for 0-25 year olds, and inpatient beds for 18-25 year olds, was put out to tender by Birmingham South Central Clinical Commissioning Group on behalf of Clinical Commissioning Groups in Birmingham (Birmingham CrossCity CCG and Sandwell and West Birmingham CCG) in February 2014 with an ambition to go live in October 2015. The contract is worth £124m over five years, with the potential to extend to seven years.

• Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) took over the responsibility of commissioning health services on 1 April 2013 as part of the Government’s plans for the NHS under the Health and Social Care Act 2012. The groups, which are led by doctors and nurses, work together to manage their local budgets and buy health services for patients direct with other NHS colleagues and local authorities. By being in charge of the decisions that affect their patients, the CCGs are able to commission quality care that is tailored to meet the specific needs of their patients and the wider community.

• Forward Thinking Birmingham’s Mission and Vision are:

Mission: To exceed all expectations of what mental health services can achieve for children, young people and young adults in Birmingham; resetting the bar for generations to come.

Vision: To create community mental health services for children, young people and young adults where there is more choice, more freedom and control about the services they receive; transforming their experience and improving their life chances.

• Forward Thinking Birmingham integrates the expertise of:
- Birmingham Children’s Hospital  – Child and Adolescent Mental Service (CAMHS)
- Worcestershire Health and Care NHS Trust – community adult mental health care
- The Priory Group – inpatient and rehabilitation
- Beacon UK – care management
- The Children’s Society – voluntary sector knowledge and experience

• Interviews are available on request with all partners – more background on each can be found below:

Birmingham Children’s Hospital NHS Foundation Trust has been the established lead provider for the delivery of community and inpatient mental health services up to 18 years of age for children and young people in Birmingham and the West Midlands for over 15 years, and is recognised for its excellence in areas such as safeguarding. 

Worcestershire Health and Care NHS Trust is a leading provider of mental health and community services. Our specialist Mental Health provision includes services provided to children, adolescents, adults and older people who are supported in both community and inpatient settings. Our services are also designed to ensure effective transition between services including ensuring that the transition between children’s mental health and adult mental health is as seamless as possible.

Priory Group is the leading integrated provider of specialist mental health, education and care in the UK, running the largest network of mental healthcare hospitals and clinics in the country and looking after 30,000 people a year. It provides treatments for addictions and conditions including schizophrenia, self-harming, and eating disorders. It also supports people with learning disabilities, autism and Asperger’s. Priory Healthcare runs 35 Priory hospitals. Priory Education Services manage 26 specialist schools and colleges, providing education for more than 1,000 pupils with behavioural difficulties, working with Craegmoor, which supports those with learning disabilities. The Priory’s Woodbourne Hospital in Birmingham has a team of psychiatrists, psychologists and therapists treating adults and children, and liaises with schools and other professionals involved in young people’s care.

The Children’s Society changes the lives of the country’s most disadvantaged children and teenagers by delivering frontline support services and campaigning for change. It works closely with a wide range of community and voluntary organisations to tackle poverty and neglect and is a lead researcher in the field of children’s emotional well-being. Its experience and approach has been proven to build bridges in communities and improve the mental resilience of young people. It has been a driving force in supporting children in the West Midlands for over 100 years, last year alone working with more than 3,000 children and teenagers across the region, and has formed a partnership with Birmingham City Council to bring the voices of children and teenagers into the future of the city.

Beacon UK are managed care leaders in mental health, specialising in helping people achieve and sustain recovery in community settings. Beacon UK does not provide care, but organises multiple services so that support is tailored to the individual. To realise its goal of transforming mental health recovery, Beacon offers world class mental health case management, system-wide pathway coordination, and insightful analytics that improve the delivery of care. Its mission is to help people with mental health problems live life to their fullest potential.

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