MPFT wins NHS Procurement Transformation Award for pioneering new partnership page thumbnail

A pioneering new partnership service offering digital emotional health and wellbeing support to children and young people experiencing anxiety, depression and other mental health issues has won the prestigious NHS Procurement Transformation Award at the NHS in the Midlands Excellence in Supply Awards.

The Children and Families Mental Health function is working with digital mental health provider Cerebral to offer a range of online support for young people living in South Staffordshire, dependant on their need.

MPFT is the first NHS trust to partner with Cerebral, which uses online technology to make therapy and web-based support more easily accessible to children, young people and families without the need for travel.

Natasha Khan, Head of Function Mental Health at MPFT said: “MPFT started a new procurement process in 2021 to digitally support Children and Families with a mental health need in South Staffordshire. At this point, we thought we knew all of the bidders and did not expect to meet Kai and his team at Cerebral. 

“They impressed us with their innovative ideas; using technology to help young people's mental health. We were able to experience and practice using the website, we live streamed events and we have more exciting ideas to trial in the future. The contract meetings have been both fun and interesting and it’s so refreshing to collaborate with a provider that is working so hard for young people and who is equally passionate to use technology to transform how we connect with young people.  

“We have enjoyed the new partnership with an organisation that thinks outside the box and is willing to respond quickly to young people's needs. We are excited to see how this transformation grows.”

As well as gaming livestreams, live chat, and other engaging and fun digital content aimed at supporting children and young people’s emotional health and wellbeing, those accessing the site may also be offered personal online therapy if this is felt to be required.

Children and young people are intelligently matched with a therapist based on their preferences, for example: cultural or ethnic background; experience with trauma or abuse; or challenges commonly faced by the LGBTQIA+ community. This improves clinical outcomes by building a strong therapeutic alliance from the start.

This support is available via Cerebral’s Sandbox website – – and self-referrals are welcome (the consent of a parent or carer will be required for children under 12, or those 12 and over with a special education need or learning disability).

Photographed from left to right;

Tim Hamer (General Manager, Cerebral) Daisy Butler-Gallie (Healthcare Success Manager, Cerebral) Sarbjit OBrian (CAMHS Service Transformation Lead, MPFT) Victoria Barton (Senior Procurement Manager, MPFT) Craig Holloway (Contract Manager, MPFT) Nick Alexander (Head of Procurement, MPFT) Di Pudlo (Senior Contract Manager, MPFT) Kate Pym (UK Project Manager, Cerebral) Rachel Rayner (CAMHS Service Transformation Lead, MPFT)