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National nursing awards nomination for mental health service

Tuesday, 27 July, 2021
National nursing awards nomination for mental health service

A collaborative project to improve access to vital mental health services for children and young people has resulted in a prestigious awards nomination for a North East NHS trust.

Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust’s North Tyneside CAMHS (Children and Adolescent Mental Health Services) Single Point of Access Team has been shortlisted in the Nursing in Mental Health category at the Nursing Times Awards 2021.

Dubbed Doorways to Acceptance, the scheme, which was developed in partnership with North Tyneside Council and Barnardo’s, resulted in a single point of access for all referrals to CAMHS in the borough.

The shift to the new model was sparked by concern about the growing numbers of referrals, including the increasing number that did not meet the criteria for specialist treatment, which were leading to long waiting times and dissatisfaction among families.

But its introduction last year has resulted in waiting times coming down so that there is contact with children/young people within four weeks of referral, while patients and their families have the opportunity to share how issues are impacting on them.

Plus, for those who do not meet the threshold for specialist CAMHS support, advice and guidance is provided to families to ensure they are not left stranded. There are also local authority early help workers in the CAMHS team, funded by Barnardo’s, who works directly with families.

Theresa Maddison, a nurse consultant in CAMHS for Northumbria Healthcare, said: “We brought together a group of staff who had not worked closely together and asked them to develop and deliver a new model.

“The team has been fantastic, rolling their sleeves up to take on the challenge and going above and beyond to ensure the model works and provides an effective and caring service for children and young people and their families.

“Given the investment staff have made into Doorways to Acceptance, I’m delighted that we have been nominated for this Nursing Times Award.”

The Trust’s director of nursing, Elaine Henderson, added: “This is brilliant news for a project whose success is the result of strong leadership on the ground and a lot of hard work by staff.

“It showcases the progress that can be made when teams are honest in recognising where there is room for improvements and commit to trying new ways of working. It’s also another good example of of the positive outcomes of partnership working.”

Nursing Times is a website and monthly magazine for the profession and its annual awards, now in their 31st year, aim to ‘bring together the nursing community to shine a light on the brightest talent in the profession and recognise those making nursing innovative, patient-focused and inclusive’.

Following a tough year during the Covid-19 pandemic, it has never been more important to recognise the incredible contributions of nurses, with the awards seeking to ‘highlight innovation, perseverance and incredible work across 25 categories, covering a wide range of nursing specialties, from mental health to clinical research’.

The winners will be announced at a special ceremony in London on Wednesday, October 27.


Media contact

Ben O’Connell, media and communications officer

Benjamin.O’Connell@northumbria-healthcare.nhs.uk or 07833 046680.


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