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​New programme set to start transforming healthcare for children and young people

190,000 children and young people in the London boroughs of Lambeth and Southwark will  see their local health services transformed by an innovative change programme funded by Guy's and St Thomas' Charity. 

The Lambeth and Southwark Children and Young People's Health Partnership (CYPHP) is an ambitious programme –one of the biggest of its kind in Europe– to bring together organisations and families to improve everyday healthcare and care for long-term conditions for the youngest in the two boroughs. It seeks to improve the health of children, enhance services to improve outcomes and reduce unnecessary hospital visits. The Charity has committed £6.7 million over four years, and has released almost £2.8 million to start implementation.

The grant will help the programme to start implementing a new model of care designed to improve child health and everyday healthcare by:

  • Creating child health teams of GPs and other primary care staff working more closely with paediatricians, mental health workers and other specialists, with a greater focus on health promotion.
  • Delivering children's healthcare closer to home and schools
  • Training health and non-health professionals, including teachers, to be better at identifying and addressing the physical and emotional needs of children 
  • Breaking down organisational boundaries to centre care around children's needs and make services more friendly and accessible 
  • Addressing health inequities for some of the most vulnerable children – for example through investing in meeting the specific health needs of Looked after Children and young people.

Kieron Boyle, Chief Executive of Guy's and St Thomas' Charity, said "The health of children and young people has to be the highest priority. Sadly, across the UK and here in South London, we're not doing as well as we need to be. Not only does the UK have one of Europe's highest child mortality rates, but child mortality in Southwark is 30% higher than the average in England. Young people's A&E attendances in Lambeth and Southwark are also higher than in the rest of the country.

"The Lambeth and Southwark Children and Young People's Health Partnership will make a vital contribution to addressing these and other issues for the long-term. It is founded on strong partnerships, hugely motivated individuals and a shared commitment to learn. Underpinning it is a crucial premise: improving health should happen as close to the family as possible, by boosting family expertise and local support mechanisms. Our hope is that the programme will help to change mindsets, test new approaches and inspire similarly ambitious work elsewhere."

Dr Ingrid Wolfe, CYPHP Programme Director said, "It is very exciting and a great privilege to be involved in this enthusiastic partnership, working together to improve child health. Through supporting families and professionals to provide better care at home and in community settings, such as GP practices and schools, we will respond to the local needs of parents, children and young people. With the new support from Guy's and St Thomas' Charity, we are all looking forward to implementing the work we have started."

The Partnership involves NHS Lambeth and NHS Southwark Clinical Commissioning Groups, Lambeth and Southwark Local Authorities, GP Federations, parents, carers and young people  working alongside King's Health Partners – comprised of Guy's and St Thomas' (which includes Evelina London Children's Healthcare),  King's College Hospital, South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trusts, as well as King's College London. These partners have long supported the transformation that the Children and Young People's Health Partnership is now seeking to implement. 

Andrew Eyres, Chief Officer of NHS Lambeth CCG and co-Chair of the Lambeth and Southwark Children and Young People's Health Partnership Programme Board said "The partners are committed to working together to make a real difference to improve the health and wellbeing of the children we serve.  The results from pilots during the Programme's design phase were encouraging and we now look forward to building on these results to realise the programme's full potential."