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7. Recommendations to commissioners

1. Offer early intervention and whole system approach

Offer a choice of evidence-based services. Clarify the care pathway in response to the Children and Young People’s Mental Health Taskforce strategic vision for delivering improvements to the mental and emotional wellbeing of children and young people. In particular, the new vision advocates for an integrated whole-system approach, with the NHS, public health, voluntary and community, local authority children’s services, education and youth justice sectors working together to create a system built around the needs of children, young people and their families, rather than rigidly defined in terms of the services on offer by an organisation.

2. Offer a consistent range of treatments and interventions which are evidence based and informed by practice.

Referrals should be accepted from a wide range of sources such as GPs, schools as well as self-referral.

3. Increase the range and availability of cognitive behavioural therapy, systematic family therapy and parenting courses.

4. Identify gaps in support needs in relation to children with social communication and interaction needs including autistic spectrum conditions whilst accounting for the existence and responsibilities of other services within the wider system and acknowledging that support needs will vary due to ages of children and their location on the spectrum.

5. Workforce development should include a trend towards staff on lower bands with more generalist and community-based roles. Work towards embedding staff with non-clinical teams, e.g. schools, social care and universal services.