i-Rock 'youth hub' was developed in 2016, as a key component part of the Hastings and Rother CCG commissioned programme to reduce 'health inequality' in Hastings. The multi-agency one-stop 'youth hub' in Hastings (East Sussex) was developed in response to engage the ‘hard-to reach’ younger population; targeting those residing within the most deprived 10% of the national population, and young people with low levels of wellbeing and social function, thus reducing 'health inequality'. Young people with mental health issues, housing needs, employment, education, substance use and general wellbeing receive immediate triage (ie less than 30 minutes waiting) and pathway planning into the most appropriate local provider.
What We Did
i-Rock ‘youth hub’ was developed in 2016, as a key component part of the Hastings and Rother CCG commissioned programme to reduce ‘health inequality’ in Hastings. The multi-agency one-stop ‘youth hub’ in Hastings (East Sussex) was developed in response to engage the ‘hard-to reach’ younger population; targeting those residing within the most deprived 10% of the national population, and young people with low levels of wellbeing and social function, thus reducing ‘health inequality’. Young people with mental health issues, housing needs, employment, education, substance use and general wellbeing receive immediate triage (ie less than 30 minutes waiting) and pathway planning into the most appropriate local provider.
Wider Active Support
iRock is commissioned by Hastings & Rother CCG and led by Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust and East Sussex County Council (children and young people divisions), involving Youth Employability, The Princes Trust (Talent Match), Education Futures Trust (Time2Be programme), Brighton Housing, Sussex Community Development Association (Employment support for 14-25 year-olds) , SEND Elective home educated drop-in; Health in Mind (HiM) – Improving Access to Psychological Therapies; SpCAMHS; Early Intervention in Psychosis; Early Help Key Work.
‘Reducing health inequality in Hastings (called Healthy Hastings) is a key programme in the East Sussex Better Together (ESBT), comprising of Hasting and Rother and Eastbourne, Hailsham, Seaford CCGs; Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, East Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust and East Sussex County Council; planning to single ‘Accountable Care’ structure in 2018.
Young person representation on the stakeholder steering group has been core since its inception in August 2015. In the development of the youth mental health model young people were engaged from the Hastings Youth Council and subsequently a youth mental health focus group to facilitate co-design and co-production, being actively involved in decisions regarding venue, pathways and approach.
Since opening in April 2016, we have established a monthly youth advisory group who meet to discuss co-production issues and influence changes in the service model.
Young people are involved in the recruitment of new i-Rock staff and there a youth peer worker post to support young people accessing the service is now also commissioned.
All young people who access i-Rock are given the opportunity to feedback on their experience of the service, this is collated and influences service change and development.
Looking Back/Challenges Faced
There have been two challenges of particular note in the development of the project;
1) Venue – A focus group with young people to develop the core business model helped clarify specifications required from a venue, these included being in a central location to facilitate easy access especially via public transport but not in the town centre as this may be considered anxiety provoking and indiscreet. The building should be youth friendly and have no connections with a health or social care building. Despite initial difficulties, we were able to identify such a building. The location and accommodation has contributed significantly to the success of the service.
2) Staffing and data recording – Coordinating a network of co-located staff across the working week has not been without its problems, but through the steering group and robust partnership arrangements we have overcome these initial concerns. We are working collaboratively with all partners to address data sharing issues and have made initial steps to resolve these.
The project is lead as a partnership between the CCG, East Sussex County Council and SPFT. I-Rock has a project co-ordinator post and project worker post, whose responsibility it is to manage the day-to-day provision and oversee partnership arrangements.
In March 2017, the CCG agreed a further 2 years of funding for the service which included an enhanced staffing provision (for example youth peer support worker). The service has exceeded initial expectations and demonstrated a value to local young people, GP’s, schools and partnership agencies. There is a strong base on which to secure ongoing support and funding for the service and the provision has become integral to the network and pathways for young people locally.
Evaluation (Peer or Academic)
The service has a dedicated research assistant capturing qualitative and quantitative data from young people accessing the service, including (ChYP) IAPT measures. In addition, where agreed, young people have share their longer-term experiences following i-Rock; so that impact in life changes can be measured. Every young person accessing the service is given the opportunity to share their experience and contribute to the ongoing development and design of the service.
In 16 months i-Rock has made 724 contacts, with 400 individual young people.
The most common age of young people accessing i-Rock is 17 years
Young people accessing i-Rock report experiencing statistically significantly worse mental wellbeing compared to population means. i-Rock is reaching the right people. Reaching young people in areas identified as the most deprived 10% of the UK population (Index of Multiple Deprivation).
37% of young people accessing are not in education, employment or training (NEET); that’s around 4 times higher than the general population.
35% of respondents reported that they would not have accessed other services
18% of young people are given information, 72% were supported to access an appropriate service, and 10% were transitioned directly into a service.
In September 2017 i-Rock was presented at the International Association of Youth Mental Health Conference.
Locally, iRock presents to a multitude of events to schools and colleges in Hastings, large local employers, CCG meetings, other third sector organisations, such as Autism Sussex.
iRock is being scoped for roll out across East Sussex and West Sussex, and the model being assessed for its impact in rural locations.
Developing youth hub models in line with iRock is in the Local Transformation Plans in Sussex; the Sustainable Transformation Plan in Sussex/East Surrey and is a key priority in East Sussex based plans for local accountable care.
Is there any other information you would like to add?
This is Sophie’s story: Sophie accessed i-Rock for support with a number of related issues, including managing her mental health and family relationships, engaging at college, and seeking employment and housing. Sophie had sought support from statutory mental health services, however, at 17 years of age found that she fell between existing provisions. Sophie was able to access brief interventions, for support with her full range of concerns, including managing her mood and relationship issues and practical support with progression in education, employment and housing.Sophie’s mood improved, her college results improved, and so did her relationship with her mum, and she subsequently moved back in at home. She has since secured a part-time job and later a position on an overseas work placement. She is start a university degree on her return to the UK next year.