Transformation of Children and Young People Services

In April 2012, Children and Young People Services in Cumbria were inspected by the Care Quality Commission (CQC). The findings outlined issues around the safeguarding of children and healthcare services for looked after children that required an immediate response to stabilise the service. However more importantly it provided an imperative to review the service more fundamentally, the proposal being to move to a more integrated model where services were better co-ordinated around children both internally and with partners. 

In Summer 2012, Castlerigg were successful in winning a commission to support the radical transformation of the service and define a change programme to deliver this new operating model or ‘business architecture’ for the service. It became apparent that there needed to be a much clearer understanding of the future ‘business architecture’ for the service - there were different views on this causing a lack of focus and some degree of confusion in the service’s planning of initiatives. This lack of clarity on end outcomes and benefits also meant too much emphasis was placed on completing ‘activity’ rather than delivering ‘outcome’. There was not a robust programme in place with clear governance, programme controls and proper documentation and the service was not utilising standard Programme and Project Management techniques.

Working with the service, Castlerigg delivered:

  • A readiness assessment which provided a baselined assessment of current delivery,
  • approach and the strategic and operational ‘readiness’ to implement new capabilities
  • and realise benefits from the planned change(s)
  • A detailed blueprint of their new operating model or ‘business architecture’ to create
  • a sound basis for planning
  • A gap analysis between the current and future operating models which then
  • informed our development of a new Programme Plan for the service
  • A new operating framework for the service, including new templates and development of standard operating procedures and supported the specification of a new intranet site to host this framework for clinicians
  • A detailed stakeholder engagement strategy for the service
  • Delivered ‘masterclass’ training to project teams on techniques and approaches to
  • support successful project delivery
  • Mentoring and coaching of staff who were inexperienced in managing programme and projects

 Our approach maximised the chance of success and created consistent and repeatable processes whereby the service could deliver more projects, more successfully, more often.  

“We have found Castlerigg provide honest and genuine support to our change management activities, drawing upon their track record of delivering successful change elsewhere in the Public Sector. They have been an embedded part of the Children’s service, working as a partner to the senior management team and providing timely and insightful advice and guidance to support the transformation journey for the service.”

Russell Norman, General Manager, Children and Young People Services, Cumbria Partnership NHS Foundation Trust 

Here's how…



Castlerigg worked with the CYPS to translate their vision and objectives into a “blueprint” or desired future state. This was compared to a review of the service’s “as is” state and was followed by a gap analysis to determine what the programme of work needs to be in order to achieve the service’s “to be” blueprint.


Programme Management

After supporting the CYPS to articulate its future operating model, Castlerigg worked with the service to outline the 3 year programme of work required to make this operating model a reality. 


Change Management

Castlerigg supported CYPS to plan pre-programme activity required to ensure that there was good change controls and governance in place to effectively support this programme of work.  For example:  

  • Agree the governance upwards in terms of exception reporting, escalation of risks and issues and accountabilities
  • Establish the necessary governance is in place to manage the programme effectively
  • Ensure the senior management team acts as an effective transformation board
  • The ability to review all change activity and ensure continued viability against the blueprint
  • Continuously review all programme and project activity requirements within the service


We ensure that training is tailored to the customer’s needs - we don’t deal in ‘off the shelf’ thinking. We are passionate about leaving our clients in a place where they can build on our work, skilling up staff so the benefits don’t end when we leave. One of the requirements of this commission was to deliver a series of project management ‘masterclasses’ in order to create a project management capability within their service, often with people with little or limited previous experience of managing projects..