Decision details

18/00071 - Children and Young People's Mental Health Services, Funded by Kent County Council

Decision Maker: Cabinet Member for Children, Young People and Education

Decision status: Recommendations Approved

Is Key decision?: Yes

Is subject to call in?: Yes


KCC will work with the CCG to review and vary the existing contracts, potentially terminating the section 76 agreement and putting in place arrangements which allow KCC to directly manage the KCC funded NELFT contracts.



KCC, Children, Young People and Education (CYPE) Directorate, Public Health and the 7 Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) across Kent have worked together since 2015 to implement a county wide Children and Young People Mental Health service partnership model. This model includes the provision of universal education services, early intervention services for children and young people experiencing early stage wellbeing difficulties, targeted services for those with a high complexity of need and specialist services for those young people with complex and serious mental health conditions.


To work together in the integrated model the Council entered into a Section 76 (S.76) arrangement with West Kent CCG (North, West and East Kent) and Thanet CCG (East Kent), for the NELFT contract to provide services to support:

      Priority assessment for Looked After Children;

      Work in Early Help Units, to intervene early and stop escalation into Tier 3 mental health services;

      Children at risk of, or subject to, the effects of harmful sexual behaviour; and

      Kent Health Needs Education Service (KHNES)


In April 2017, NELFT were awarded the contract to run CYPMHS for 5-years from 1st September 2017 with a total contract value of £82,504,977 over 5-years (£15,964,287 p.a.). Of this KCC fund four key areas; Early Help (£1.2m); Children in Care (£1m); Kent Health Needs Education Service (£240k); and Children at risk of or subject to harmful sexual behaviour (£217k) total £2.657m p.a. over 5-years.


Other options were considered in terms of how best to better manage the KCC elements of the CYPMHS.  These included:

-           Setting up additional contract management processes, with support from the CCGs,

-           Establishing an alternative model of provision and ending the current arrangements.


Having considered the above options, including discussing them with Cabinet Committee, working with the CCG to vary the contract, with the potential for terminating the s76 agreement so that KCC would be managing NELFT directly for the Council’s new model of contracts, as proposed in this forthcoming decision, was identified as the most appropriate option to progress.


KCC is committed to working in partnership with the NHS and the provider to manage the challenges that are facing mental health services for children and young people. KCC wishes to retain a partnership approach with the NHS and to review how to make the model work in the interests of children and young people.


However, KCC also has to ensure that the contribution it makes to the contracts in place are delivering the expected outcomes that the Local Authority is responsible for.


By reviewing the contract KCC can make the necessary changes to ensure that the people of Kent get the best outcomes and receive more effective services.


The Cabinet Member for Children, Young People and Education agrees to:


a)    End the existing Section 76 agreement and establish a new agreement which reflects Kent County Council as the commissioning lead for the Kent County Council elements of the service; and


b)    Establish these new contract monitoring arrangements, with immediate effect.

Publication date: 25/01/2019

Date of decision: 25/01/2019

Effective from: 02/02/2019

Accompanying Documents: