A BLUEPRINT to beef up mental health services for children and young people has been launched.

The programme, known as THRIVE, aims to redesign and improve emotional health and wellbeing services for children and adolescents up to the age of 19.

Made up of organisations across Lancashire, the partnership aims to reduce waiting times and improve experience and effectiveness of care in Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS).

It comes as new figures show, that nationally, the number of youngsters waiting more than a year for specialist mental health treatment has more than trebled within 12 months.

A total of 118 children and young people waited more than 53 weeks to be seen in the first three months of 2019 – an increase of 237 per cent on the 35 cases recorded in the same period last year.

CAMHS are services that work with children and young people who have difficulties with their emotional or behavioural wellbeing.

Rachel Snow-Miller, director of commissioning of All Age Mental Health and Learning Disability Services for Lancashire and South Cumbria Integrated Care System, said: “The THRIVE programme is redesigning emotional health and wellbeing services for children and adolescents and is a great example of partners across a range of sectors coming together to work in partnership to tackle one of our most challenging areas of health in Lancashire and South Cumbria.”

The care partnership is made up of East Lancashire Hospitals Trust, Blackpool Teaching Hospitals Foundation Trust, Cumbria Partnership Foundation Trust and Lancashire Care Foundation Trust.

Northumberland, Tyne and Wear Foundation Trust, a provider of high performing mental health services, is supporting the care partnership and facilitating design workshops to develop a THRIVE-based model of care.

Health chiefs said that the development of a THRIVE-based model will ensure that young people receive consistent levels of care wherever they live in Lancashire and South Cumbria.

They also said that they can access services in the right place and at the right time to meet their individual needs.

A partnership of local Healthwatch in Blackpool, Lancashire, Blackburn with Darwen and Cumbria has been supporting the involvement of young people, parents and carers in the service transformation.

Some 68 people have been involved in the design process, either by attending sessions or by providing regular feedback through online Facebook groups.

Ms Snow-Miller said: “The insight and work coming out of the design workshops is extremely encouraging.

“We are grateful to the young people and their parents and carers who have given their time to share their experiences of using services and to contribute to the workshops.

“Their open and honest input has helped to identify how we need to work differently to improve CAMHS. “

She added: “These contributions are helping to make sure we develop future services that will make sure young people receive the levels of care they need wherever they live in Lancashire and South Cumbria.”