Father and family

Making children and young people’s mental health services accessible

Berkshire West Integrated Care Partnership’s (ICP) Children and Young People’s (CYP) Mental Health and Learning Disability board tasked the system leaders to review all CYP emotional wellbeing and mental health services. As a result, we are currently working with Berkshire West ICP to align and integrate the variety of service access points for CYP, families and professionals. This will improve first and earlier response as well as improve the management of risk.


In 2020 Berkshire West ICP CYP Mental Health and Learning Disability board tasked the system leaders to review all CYP emotional wellbeing and mental health services. The review delivered several recommendations, one of which (Priority 1) was to create a single access and decision-making partnership arrangement or ‘Single Point of Access’ (SPOA) in Berkshire West. The first task needed was to map/baseline current arrangements across NHS, Local Authority and VCSE.


The initial mapping/baselining as part of Priority 1 included:

  • Scoping review – identifying current SPA models across other localities
  • Engagement – with partners across Berkshire West ICP including those within NHS, Local Authority and VCSE organisations
  • Workforce analysis – of each service engaged
  • Collaboration – with other priority workstreams in the system
  • Summary of findings – into a report including recommendations for the next steps


Based on information gathered during the exploration of the ‘as is’ provision and existing SPOAs, the needs of partners, and the strategic direction of Berkshire West ICP, the second phase was reconfigured to further explore the operational implementation of a SPA. Further investigation was carried out with a selection of existing SPA models that had been identified within the scoping review. These findings were fed back to the ICP to inform their next steps.

Key themes included:

  • THRIVE model focus
  • Shared understanding within the ICP
  • Commissioning and funding
  • Governance arrangements
  • Workforce
  • IT systems and data (sharing)
  • Inequalities
  • Operational activity (including referrals and waiting lists)

Recommendations included:

1. Exploratory work for SPOA in Berkshire West

  • Deep dive into existing SPOA models
  • System collaboration
  • Commissioning and operational challenges
  • Equitable service

2. Workforce

  • Impact of transformation on staff
  • Workforce planning for current and future workforce
  • Job analysis and design of referral management workforce
  • Alternative roles for managing waiting lists
  • Wellbeing support
  • Developing a digital delivery strategy
  • Developing a talent management strategy

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