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Case study: Provider collaborative to deliver CAMHS services in Essex


Client: A partnership of North East London NHS Foundation Trust (NELFT), Virgin Care, Essex Partnership University Trust (EPUT) and Provide CIC


Date: April – May 2021


Challenges faced by the client: Essex CAMHS – known as the Emotional Wellbeing and Mental Health Service (EWMHS) – is a county-wide service that supports young people’s mental health needs across Essex, Southend, and Thurrock. The service is jointly commissioned by all seven Essex Clinical Commissioning Groups and Essex County Council.


The contract for the CAMHS services was retendered in May 2021. This provided an opportunity to integrate services in Essex, and develop a provider collaboration that made the most of the strengths of four organisations: NELFT, Virgin Care, EPUT and Provide CIC. The bidders needed to agree whether they could work together, agree a joint approach and develop a coherent and robust bid strategy that delivered high quality outcomes for young people.


Support offered: Our support focused on supporting all four partners to reach a consensus view on whether they could work together, followed by a strategy for bidding. Through structured facilitation, we worked with the four Chief Executives to agree a clear and coherent set of principles outlining the vision of the collaboration, key priorities, outcomes and ways of working.


Following this agreement, we held a series of workshops with clinical and operational leads to build a first-level model for the delivery of the CAMHS contract. This included balance of services, bidding model, staffing structures and lines of accountability and a plan to write the bid.


Outcome achieved: NELFT, Virgin Care, EPUT and Provide CIC submitted a joint bid for the CAMHS contract, led by NELFT. The bid was successful and provides a new innnovative model of mental health services, focused around preventation and early intervention. The services will begin delivery in autumn 2021.