Children and Young People (CYP) with the most complex needs are being supported by a Keyworker Pilot in Bedfordshire, Luton and Milton Keynes to help to avoid admissions into hospital.
The pilot provides the most vulnerable CYP with a learning disability, autism (LDA) or both and their families with a dedicated keyworker to families to make sure that they are listened to, fully involved in their plans, and ensure that they receive the right care at the right time. They will also work with the children or young person and their families to provide support and help to navigate local services including health, social care, and education.
The pilot, which has been developed by Bedfordshire, Luton and Milton Keynes Integrated Care System (BLMK ICS), follows the allocation of £247,292 of funding in 2020. A further £495,000 in funding has been allocated to extend the programme into 2021/22.
“A”, a 13-year-old boy, with a diagnosis including Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), Learning Disability (LD) and Anxiety, was referred to the Keyworker Pilot following an A&E attendance for his mental health. Following the referral, he was allocated a dedicated Keyworker, who contacted the family to discuss their needs and organised an emergency meeting to review his situation and decide on the next best steps.
Following this meeting, a referral to the Engage programme was made which is a provision we have in MK to support young people who cannot access education. They help young people build social skills, emotional resilience and self-esteem. The keyworker visited the family to check on progress and then attended meetings with the family and the local authority to advocate for “A” on not returning to mainstream school. Following the interventions made, “A” has not had any further mental health crisis presentations.
Sarah Jackson, BLMK Keyworker, said:
“The Keyworker Pilot is a fantastic opportunity to help some of the most vulnerable and complex children and families in our population. My role is system wide enabling me to work with colleagues from a variety of services, who are committed to helping these children by ensuring that they are at the forefront of any decisions that are made. While also taking a holistic approach and consideration to all aspects of their lives to help us to build bespoke and robust community support packages around them to ensure they can remain in the community and reach their potential.
“We work closely with the families of these children to understand the challenges and complexities they are facing. This allows professionals to build the right support around them and navigate the system on their behalf, which helps take the pressure off and reduce the stress of everyday life.”