Out-of-hours crisis service for young people facing mental health problems to be launched after £456,000 investment

Andy Goff, of Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust.

Andy Goff, of Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust. - Credit: Archant

A new out-of-hours crisis service giving children and young people round-the-clock access to specialist mental health is to be launched, thanks to a £456,000 investment.

The service, which will be run by the Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust (NSFT), will operate across Norfolk and Waveney and will be launched early next year.

Staff will undertake out-of-hours assessments at acute general hospitals, in a bid to give young people facing a mental health crisis the right help and support.

It was made possible after NHS England awarded the area an extra £1.9m each year to further develop services for young people and its development has seen NSFT work alongside Norfolk County Council and the area's five clinical commissioning groups to plan how the money should be spent.

The 24/7 crisis service, which builds on a service currently in place during the working day, is one of the results.

Andy Goff, Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services improvement and development manager with NSFT, said: 'We are delighted that this money has allowed us to expand our children and young person's service to provide 24/7 crisis support across Norfolk and Waveney.

'We have listened to our young people and worked with our partners to develop the service, which will make sure this group get the help and support they need to prevent an admission into an inpatient unit.

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'We will also be rolling out a training programme to first responders, colleagues working in general hospitals and others who respond in a crisis to make sure they have the necessary skills to provide the right support when these vulnerable people need it the most.'

Over the next few months, further improvements have been promised.

The trust is now launching a recruitment campaign to attract staff from all over the country to join its youth service. Positions will be advertised on the NHS Jobs website, with applications opening on November 14.

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