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Mental Health programme - Schools in Stoke-on-Trent and North Staffordshire to benefit from £2m new 'Trailblazer' project offering mental health support

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The Mental Health programme has been very successful, with a number of national funding announcements – most recently the news that we have been awarded approximately £2m to enable the formation of a ‘trailblazer’ project in North Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent to establish child and adolescent mental health service (CAMHS) support in schools.

As a result of this new funding, more than 30 new posts will be created to form four brand new mental health support teams of children's mental health specialists and trainees to work in schools across Stoke-on-Trent and North Staffordshire.

There will also be extra funding and additional staff for Stoke-on-Trent and North Staffordshire community mental health teams in order to cut children's mental health waiting times to four weeks from referral to treatment. The aim is to provide much greater support for school age children and we very much look forward to seeing this come to fruition.

The ‘trailblazer’ funding came hot on the heels of the £1.6m announced last month by the Government to develop a new detoxification suites at Harplands Hospital in Stoke-on-Trent, as well as four new crisis cafes located across the whole of Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent. Work is ongoing within the programme on the next steps for this exciting development and we look forward to seeing the difference it will make to local people.

From December, the mental health psychiatric liaison service at Royal Stoke University Hospital formally became a full 24-hour all age service to ensure timely delivery of mental health assessments to children as well as adults and older people - making it one of very few nationally to provide such a service and ensures the mental health input into Royal Stoke remains comprehensive and responsive. We are also meeting the expected longer terms targets of 95% of children with an eating disorder being seen within one week for urgent cases, and 100% of children with an eating disorder seen within four weeks for non-urgent cases.

A new Psychiatric Intensive Care service opened at the start of November 2018 and is now available on site at Harplands Hospital. The unit has six beds and will prevent the need for people to go out of Staffordshire for urgent and intensive care. It also means that local services can link into the unit and enable people to step down into other care and support quickly and easily.

For more information about the programme, visit

Watch this short video featuring Joint Clinical Leads Dr Waheed Abassi and Dr Abid Khan talking about the programme.