In 2017, Rise, a group of NHS services that provide mental health support for children and young people in Coventry and Warwickshire, approached Healios with a problem. Rise had just secured a new contract to deliver emotional wellbeing and specialist mental health care for children and young people aged 18 and under, but its waiting times were growing.
Like many services, Rise’s waiting list had been impacted by increasing referrals, high numbers of crisis presentations and challenges around recruiting for specialist clinical roles with a limited local talent pool to draw from. Rise needed to redesign its service offering and expand its workforce, while simultaneously giving families timely access to mental health support.
The service was keen to partner with an online provider that could integrate with its face-to-face offering. Rise was drawn to Healios because of a shared commitment to delivering timely evidence-based care to children, young people and their families.
Rise began by commissioning Healios to deliver online mental health assessments and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT). It later added Healios’ Goal Based Intervention (GBI) service to its offering. When structuring the contract, Rise and Healios had to consider and find solutions for a range of issues, including how Rise could ascertain consent from young people to be supported by a third party provider having initially been referred to the NHS.
To ensure Rise staff felt comfortable referring children and young people to Healios, Rise nominated a number of key clinical contacts within its organisation to be involved in monthly meetings that centred on building the relationship with Healios, fostering a supportive learning environment and addressing any issues that arose. A weekly multidisciplinary team meeting was also introduced to ensure Rise and Healios’ clinical offerings remained consistent.
Once processes and procedures were agreed, Rise began referring children and young people to Healios. As wait times decreased, Rise decided to expand the partnership so it could routinely offer Healios’ online services at the point of referral and as a further treatment choice.
A new navigation system was introduced to triage referrals and give Healios assessments as an option wherever appropriate. Following assessment, eligible children and young people are now identified and offered CBT or GBI with Healios. Additionally, children and young people who come to Rise via the service’s support groups are later offered therapy with Healios as part of their stepped care. Support isn’t limited to children and young people. Healios clinicians regularly engage parents in online sessions to enhance the triangle of care.
By partnering with Healios, Rise was able to design increased choice into its clinical pathways for children, young people and their families. Services are delivered in a timely way, with children and young people often being seen within 20 days of referral from Rise to Healios. To date, Healios has delivered more than 19,000 online clinical sessions on Rise’s behalf, with 83% of children and young people achieving their personal goals while undergoing CBT.
Feedback from children, young people and families in Coventry and Warwickshire has been consistently positive, with 85% of service users recommending Healios. Many families have highlighted the accessible nature of Healios’ services as a key benefit; children and young people do not have to miss school to attend sessions and their parents do not have to take time off work. Embedding a digital service line into Rise’s offering also meant that children and young people who find it difficult to leave home are now able to access the care they need remotely. This flexibility resulted in 92% of families saying that their Healios sessions fit into their day.
In 2022, Rise will be expanding its offering to include Healios’ online autism and ADHD services.
“By partnering with Healios over the last five years, we have been able to increase and enhance our clinical offering. This is with regard to digital (especially pre-pandemic), but also to workforce capacity, data intelligence, access and being able to offer interventions outside of working hours. Healios’ offering is not seen as an alternative at Rise. Rather, Healios’ approach enhances our vision and interventions.”
“I feel like I was listened to. I really liked how I could talk about anything, but I loved how I was educated about my mental health. The clinician explained why I was experiencing things as I was. It made me feel like it was something I could tackle because it’s not something that was coming out of nowhere.”
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