1 May 2020

The Children and Young People Health Partnership (CYPHP) model of care has been co-designed by local clinicians, parents, carers, children and young people, researchers, commissioners and providers. The aim is to bring about change by testing and proving the benefits of a new model of care and new approaches to the way health care is delivered.

Why is there a need for this?

The boroughs of Lambeth and Southwark have relatively young ethnically diverse populations, which are among the most deprived in the country. Initial research by the CYPHP revealed significant problems with children and young people’s health services in the boroughs, including high and increasing hospital use, poor management of long-term conditions, and healthcare needs not being met.

Dr Ingrid Wolfe, a senior clinical lecturer at King’s College London, consultant in children's public health medicine at the Evelina London Children’s Hospital, and the ARC’s children and young people research theme lead is leading the implementation and evaluation of the programme. 

The current model is struggling to meet the needs of children and young people. Our aim is to create new strong health teams dedicated to children and young people, which will work across traditional barriers between organisations and professions to deliver care in the child’s best interests.

Dr Ingrid Wolfe

The CYPHP programme aims to ensure that health services are shaped around the needs of children and their families, and this means delivering more of children's health care closer to home and schools. 

Dr Wolfe says: 'At the moment, children and young people’s health outcomes are not as good as they could or should be. Too many children and young people (CYP) experience care that is less than optimal, for example, often going to A&E for minor health problems. We are providing nurse-led children’s health clinics within primary care, and comprehensive physical and mental health care for CYPs with long-term conditions, as part of an innovative new package of care. We are already starting to see exciting results.'

Managing everyday health care

The focus of the new model of care is on managing everyday health conditions and long-term conditions, such as asthma and epilepsy. 

Dr Wolfe says: 'We’ll be fixing the ordinary stuff that takes its toll on children’s health, and blocks up healthcare systems. We know that so many things could be done better. One proven intervention for asthma, for example, is having a written care plan, but this happens all too rarely. We’ll be making it part of routine care, and using new technologies, to support this.’

The first research phase of the programme also showed that services for young people in Lambeth and Southwark are poorly coordinated and arranged in ways that makes it hard for young people to access health care, particularly vulnerable young people, such as those in care, who have the greatest health needs. The programme will be working with GP practices and other health care providers to help train them to make young people feel more welcome.  

How is the ARC involved?

The new model of care has been commissioned in Southwark and Lambeth, and is likely to be implemented across south-east London. Implementation science experts from the Centre for Implementation Science have provided advice on how to do this, and will be evaluating the implementation, including analysing whether or not the new model is cost efficient. The plan is to build up evidence that can help to improve the way children’s and young people’s services are delivered, both during and after the study. 

We are applying research into practice, and then closing the loop by evaluating the changes. Early evaluations show a reduction in acute service use, and improvements in health and healthcare quality.

Dr Ingrid Wolfe

Who else is involved in the partnership?

The partnership is made up of Lambeth and Southwark clinical commissioning groups; Lambeth and Southwark Councils; The Evelina London Children’s Hospital; Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust; King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust; King’s College London; South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust; and children, young people and families living in Lambeth and Southwark. The programme is sponsored by the Guy's and St Thomas' Charity.

The trial results are expected at the end of 2021.

Find out more