Salford Council ensured youth mental health services are protected after contract award

The contract for council-funded child and adolescent mental health services in Salford has been awarded to Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust (MFT) for a further 12 months. Salford City Council’s Public Tenders Committee has agreed to give the contract to MFT worth £378,871.

The meeting today (20 April) heard that the contract will last until 31 March 2023. Work also needs to be completed to integrate MFT CAMHS contracts and children’s mental health budgets with Salford CCG and to facilitate alignment with new GM Integrated Care System contracts.

The town’s deputy councilor to the mayor, John Merry, was concerned about Salford’s current specific services falling under the MFT branch and demanded assurances that they would not be cut.

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Emily Edwards, the officer briefing advisers, said: ‘This has been a point of discussion and concern. Salford are already involved with MFT so what we need to do is create a relationship with Salford City Council as an associate which is already in place with GCC. Of all the services right now, it’s the least likely to suffer cuts. I am convinced that CAMHS is protected.

Funding from the town hall will be used to:

  • Emerge – which is a 17-year-old service (£75,000)
  • Youth Justice Service (£43,871)
  • STARLAC – CAMHS for Children in Care (£190,000)

There will also be £70,000 for the Route 29 service which has now been approved for recurring funding and one which Merry County feared would be cut.

“Currently, all targeted contracts that have been ordered in addition to the CCG-funded base contracts have been treated as ‘Addendums’ to the GM CAMHS specification which covers all ten local services,” a report states. “It is envisaged that these riders will be modified in the single MFT contract once it is established.

“The Children’s Services Leadership Team supported the request with the Procurement Committee and noted the need to ensure that services commissioned by Salford City Council are ‘protected’ when lined up on the CCG CAMHS contracts and that they transition to the new GM ICB agreements.”

Councilor Bill Hinds, Chairman of the Purchasing Commission, raised the issue of social value and stated its importance to the council at this time and asked if it had deteriorated. Salford CAMHS signed a Social Value Pledge a few years ago with a pledge to ‘provide more opportunities for involvement/volunteering for young people and parents/caregivers living in Salford’, and to ‘help ensure that more Salfordians say they have good well-being by increasing our reach”.

“Case studies on participation and engagement are regularly reported in CAMHS quarterly reports, along with experiential case studies and feedback from children, young people, parents/guardians and professionals they work with “, says a report. “Art and creativity are regularly used as vehicles to engage young people and help them express their feelings, views and ideas.

“CAMHS also regularly involves young people in service reviews and improvements, such as making offices and receptions more welcoming, and in staff recruitment and open days.”

Ms Edwards informed councilors that there had not been a review of this for two years and assured the board that this would be resumed. This was satisfactory enough for the consultants to agree to award the contract.

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