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We connect NHS and professional football club community organisations to provide impactful healthcare solutions

Our NHS Trust Partners

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What is the role of each
NHS Trust?

Firstly, it’s supporting in the recruitment and assessment of young people through various streams, including CAMHS waiting lists or those referred to CAMHS who do not meet threshold. 

Then, training the professional football Club's Community Organisation (CCO) mentoring staff – training has been developed for all CCO mentors so that there is an agreed model and approach offered in each setting, with a strong emphasis on relational, trauma-informed ways of working with young people. 

Once the young person has been handed over to the CCO mentor, the designated lead CAMHS clinician offers weekly supervision sessions to ensure there is a chance for reflective practice; helping the CCO mentor think through what support is needed for the young person, and what approach might be helpful to pursue with them. 

How does a young person get on to the programme?

Referrals can come through many organisations, for example CAMHS waiting lists, the CCO’s other existing programmes, local colleges and schools, youth services and other youth provisions or via health care services such as GPs or IAPT.

Screening – all young people are offered a single screening and assessment appointment either face to face or remotely. 

Supporting transfer – following the screening and assessment, the lead CAMHS clinician will then arrange a joint meeting with the young person and their CCO mentor to ensure there is a smooth transition from clinical support to club mentor.

What is the care pathway and staffing needs? 

In order for this care pathway to be delivered effectively, we propose that each locality has one allocated clinician who is responsible for leading and supporting on: 

  • Recruitment of young people from within the local community

  • Screening, assessment and transitioning support over to club mentor 

  • Informing GP of young person involvement on the programme

  • Weekly reflective practice with club mentor 

  • Support referrals to other services where there risk issues arise

  • Support the CCO mentor in thinking about how to progress the young person on from the programme via weekly supervision

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Why should an NHS Trust take part?
  • Support the transformation of mental health care so more people can access treatment

  • Create a partnership between NHS and another local 'anchor institution' and 'community asset' to build effective mental health services for children & young people

  • Help reduce health inequalities in access and outcomes for particular population groups that CCOs are experts in engaging

  • Facilitate a comprehensive offer of mental health support for young people aged 11-21

  • Diversify staff workload and provide them exciting experiences of working in partnership with their local football club

  • Be part of an innovative programme that helps to alleviate pressure on your waiting list

  • Enables the NHS to support communities traditionally most underserved

Advantage is a great example of a partnership that uses the best capabilities of both parties – the Clubs’ reach into communities and agile delivery and the NHS’s deep expertise in mental health and safe governance – to proactively fill a gap in care. Without this successful partnership, these young adults could feel lost at such a crucial stage in life. I truly believe that Advantage can be life changing for our participants.

Ann Hepworth,
Director of Strategy and Partnerships, BHRUT NHS Trust

Find out more

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