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Northumbria mental health services for young people rated as ‘good’

Friday, 17 February, 2017
Northumbria mental health services for young people rated as ‘good’

Specialist community mental health services for children and young people in North Tyneside are being delivered in a ‘thoughtful and sensitive way’, according to national inspectors who have rated them as ‘good’.

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) – the independent regulator of all health and social care services in England – inspected Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust’s services in September last year and found them to be responsive to young people’s needs, and attracted positive feedback from children and young people and their carers.

The specialist service – known as the Children’s and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS) – provides a single point of access to mental health services for 0-17 year olds, providing support with issues such as anxiety, depression, learning disabilities and eating disorders.

Clinics are held at Albion Road Clinic in North Shields and Baliol Centre in Longbenton with the team also delivering outreach appointments at locations that are accessible to young people.

The service also delivers a primary mental health worker service across North Tyneside and Northumberland which provides early intervention to children and young people, working closely with paediatricians, school health teams, health visitors and GPs.

The service provides a ‘consultation line’ for professionals to seek advice and support from the team on mental health issues in young people.

Some of the positives in the report – published today (Friday 17 February) at – include:

·         Initial assessments were thorough and included a full assessment of risk

·         The service had clear criteria for referrals into the service with timescales for assessment for urgent, priority and routine referrals

·         Staff delivered care in a thoughtful and sensitive way that was adaptive to the needs of the young person. Interactions were at an appropriate level for young people which focussed on recovery and respected their needs

·         Staff were passionate, enthusiastic and dedicated to their work.

The trust is already working on the areas highlighted for improvement by the CQC such as security systems at the multi-use buildings which accommodate the clinics and access to hand washing and hand sanitisers.

The trust is also working on a project to improve the recording of the involvement of young people and parents in decisions about their treatment and care.

Dr Jonny Cardwell, consultant paediatrician at the trust and business unit director for CAMHS, said: “We are pleased that our community mental health services for children and young people have been rated as ‘good’ and welcome this feedback from the CQC.

“We pride ourselves in tailoring our services to the needs of children and young people and providing care in places where they can easily access, and continue work to improve our service even further.

“We receive great feedback for our service from children and young people and their carers and are pleased that this has been highlighted in the report.”

The CQC’s Chief Inspector of Hospitals, Professor Sir Mike Richards, said: “It is clear Northumbria Healthcare is providing an effective service and I am pleased to be able to rate the quality of these services as ‘good’. 

“We saw care that was being delivered in a thoughtful and sensitive way, and was responsive to the needs of the young people using this service. This was reflected in the positive things that people using this service, as well as their carers, told us.

“The trust should be pleased with the ‘good’ rating for this service, but there are some areas where we have told them they can make changes to improve even further.”

This service was not included in the trust-wide CQC inspection which took place in November 2015 with Northumbria Healthcare overall being rated ‘outstanding’ in May 2016.