Children's Mental Health Services


Reference Number: 5721
Request Date: 06/03/2019 Archived

Question and Response:

For the purposes of this request for information, the following definitions should be applied:
Social worker - Employee in a post requiring a professional qualification where that qualification is recorded as social worker OR employee in a non-qualified post who holds a professional qualification recorded as social worker Mental health provision - A service or role where service user eligibility is based upon mental health need

Q.1   How many social workers employed directly by the Local Authority work within mental health
A.1. 11 people; 9.58 whole-time equivalents.  Please note that most social workers funded by Northumberland County Council are employed by the NHS, and are not included in these figures.

Q.2   Does the number above include the Approved Mental Health Professional workforce? If yes, how many social work Approved Mental Health Professionals are employed by the local authority?
A.2 It includes some of them, but others work in settings which do not meet your definition, such as our out of hours emergency duty team.  In total we have 15 active (authorised and approved) AMHPs. 8 of these are included in the figure above, and work wholly as AMHPs; the other 7 work in our out of hours team.

Q.3    Are the mental health social workers employed directly by the local authority (please indicate
all which apply):
☐ Based in local authority teams
☐ Based in NHS teams under direct local authority line management
☐ Based in NHS teams without direct local authority line management
A.3 Since you have not supplied a definition of an “NHS team”, we have answered this question in prose.  All the staff listed are managed within a structure within a partnership with an NHS FT. Management arrangements are closely intertwined, with some senior posts employed by the Council and others by the FT.  At the most senior level, the services are the responsibility of a postholder who has a joint role as Chief Executive of the Council and an Executive Director of the FT. Formally, her managerial responsibility for these posts is part of her role in the FT.

Q.4    What formal or informal arrangements does the local authority have with local NHS providers for the provision of mental health services (please describe)?
A.4 At the request of the NHS FT with responsibility for mental health services, the Section 75 partnership arrangement which was previously in place, which included integrated teams with a single line management structure, was dissolved from 2013, and social workers working in mental health services are now managed within and in most cases employed by an FT responsible for acute and community services.  Some elements of our former partnership with the mental health trust have remained in place, including an automated overnight exchange of records about services users for whom we have shared responsibility.

Q.5  Does the local authority commission any mental health social work provision from a third party
provider? If yes, which services are externally commissioned?
Date information compiled:
Contact details for final report:
A.5 Our arrangements are based on a Section 75 partnership rather than being provided as a commissioned service. Date information compiled:  Data based on establishment as at November 2018. Contact details for final report:


Reference Number: 5777
Request Date: 15/03/2019 Archived

Question and Response:

Q.1   For a child under-5 with suspected autism in your local authority, what is the duration in weeks or months from receipt of referral to a diagnosis appointment?
Q.2    What was the number of children aged 0 - 5 receiving a formal diagnosis of autism in the local authority in the last full year for which records are available?
Q.3    What was the average age of these children at the point of formal diagnosis?
Q.4    Does your local authority have a local autism strategy group as recommended by the NICE guidelines (Autism spectrum disorder in under 19s: recognition, referral and diagnosis).

A.1 - A..4    Information is held by Northumbria NHS Foundation Trust and not Northumberland County Council.


Reference Number: 5974
Request Date: 25/04/2019 Archived

Question and Response:

Q.1    How many vulnerable child assessments were made by your council, of which "gangs" was logged as a contributing factor, in the last five calendar years (2014,2015,2016,2017,2018)? Please break this down by year.

A.1   Based on factors identified during C&F assessments:
Year            No. Assessments
2014              8
2015             26
2016             12
2017             28
2018             24


Reference Number: 6609
Request Date: 03/09/2019 Archived

Question and Response:

I would be grateful if you could supply the following information from your local authority:

Housing policy for care leavers
Strategy for Children in Care
Mental Health Strategy for Children in Care

Under the terms of the Open Government License, the documents above will be placed on the website of Isabel’s Voice (free to the public), unless you remove your permission to do so.

The information requested is intended for future publication at the end of October as they are being updated. 

Public Interest Test Considerations

Section 22(1) is a qualified exemption which means that the information falling within the exemption still has to be released unless the public interest in disclosure is outweighed by the public interest in maintaining the exemption.

Northumberland County Council recognises that there is a general public interest in information held by public authorities being made available and that it should take place at the earliest appropriate time. This helps towards ensuring the public accountability and transparency of public authorities and promotes public engagement in any debate about the delivery of public services and the use of public funds.

However, the public interest can sometimes be best served by the planned publication of information at an appropriate time rather than in response to an individual request for that information ahead of that time.

On balance, and in all the circumstances of this particular case, we have concluded that the public interest is best served by the planned future publication of the information you have requested and by maintaining the exemption at section 22(1) at this time.

Notice of Refusal

Please treat this letter as a Notice of Refusal as regards the information covered by the Section 22(1) Exemption


Reference Number: 6947
Request Date: 07/11/2019 Archived

Question and Response:

Q.1   The number of Designated Senior Leads for Mental health
Q.2   The number of Mental Health Support Teams
Q.3   The number of children referred to specialist services via the new Mental Health Support Teams

A.1 - A.3    Northumberland County Council do not hold this information.  It can be found by contacting CAMHS, an NHS service. Please see link below: