Digital platform reduces waitlist for children’s mental health across West Yorkshire by 57%
Charitable provider of mental health services, Northpoint, has reduced waiting times across West Yorkshire for children, young people (CYP) and their families by 57% since the introduction of SilverCloud® by Amwell®’s digital Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (iCBT) programmes.
As one of Yorkshire’s largest charitable providers of therapeutic services for CYP and their families in the region, Northpoint supports over 28,000 people a year, collaborating with stakeholders and other services to deliver effective and timely mental health interventions.
Northpoint integrated the SilverCloud® platform into its services in 2019, which was commissioned by South West Yorkshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, Integrated Care Board health funding in Leeds, local authorities and Leeds school clusters. First piloted in school clusters based across Alwoodley, Roundhay, Moortown and Aireborough, the platform is now delivered to over 150 schools across Leeds, as well as Calderdale, as part of the Calderdale Open Minds (CAMHS) service and Mental Health Support Teams (MHST). In addition, referral pathways for the platform have been developed within secondary care, partnering with the Leeds Teaching Hospital to support children and young people within the diabetes, respiratory and epilepsy clinics.
As well as cutting waitlist times, Northpoint has seen improvements in accessibility and increased engagement levels as well as increased efficiencies in terms of cost savings – quickly redirecting patients to appropriate treatment options within the system. The user experience feedback was an exceptional 91% satisfaction rate, with 84% of saying that they felt that the programme was helpful and supported them towards their goal. To date, over 1,500 children and young people across West Yorkshire have been supported through the platform.
From an efficiency perspective, aside from helping to assess people’s needs faster, four young people can be supported on the programme by a trained practitioner for an equivalent resource requirement as a single face-to-face session. This in itself cuts waiting times and provides earlier access to vital mental health support.
Helen McGlinchley, Head of Services and Clinical Lead at Northpoint says, “Because of the digital offering, we’ve been able to bring the Leeds overall wait times down to five and a half weeks.” She continues, “utilising SilverCloud® iCBT programmes has enabled us to support those in need who may be less able to attend face-to-face sessions by providing a solution that is accessible, flexible and effective in the delivery of vital mental health support where and when children most need it.”
MEETING THE URGENT DEMAND
Exacerbated by the Covid-19 pandemic, the need to provide access to mental health support for CYP has never been so prevalent. 1 in 6 children and young people between 7 and 16 have a probable mental health disorder; this increases to 1 in 4 for young people aged 17-19. With an increase in those waiting for mental health support and the ever-growing pressures on mental health services, children and young people are left with symptoms worsening as they wait for help. A key consideration in the provision of mental health care for young people is the necessity for early intervention to prevent problems from escalating, a primary goal identified by Northpoint.
POWER OF DIGITAL
Northpoint has worked with Amwell to integrate the NICE-approved SilverCloud Children and Young People digital Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (iCBT) platform into their services since 2019. By assessing the needs of CYP on a case-by-case basis, Northpoint can direct those with mild to moderate symptoms to the SilverCloud® platform, allowing for those with more complex issues to receive face-to-face therapy sooner.
The SilverCloud programmes harness psychoeducation, interactive activities, evidence-based tools, psychological skills and strategies which work to guide and support users to understanding feelings, thoughts and behaviours. The platform is online and accessible, 24/7, from any mobile device, tablet, or computer, and, following referral, is available for instantly access. Users are supported by a clinician as they work through their clinically-proven CBT programmes, which can be used as a standalone intervention or an adjunct to face-to-face therapy.
“Partnering with Northpoint to deliver digital mental health support has shown how digital mental health solutions such as SilverCloud can help meet demand for timely and effective support among children and young people in Yorkshire. By offering immediate access to programmes, we’ve been able to prevent problems escalating through early intervention.” – Douglas Hiscock, Behavioural Health Lead, Amwell.
The success of the platform has been recognised nationally, nominated for a digital innovation award at the Children and Young People Now Awards, as well as a local shortlist for the Leeds Digital Festival Awards under the Tech4Good category.
 Mental Health of Children and Young People Surveys NHS. https://digital.nhs.uk/data-and-information/publications/statistical/mental-health-of-children-and-young-people-in-england