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Collab. Launch Interview: Havering Children & Adolescent Mental Health

The National Collaborating Centre for Mental Health at the Royal College of Psychiatrists have launched a new 18-month Quality Improvement (QI) Collaborative focusing on Demand, Capacity and Flow in Mental Health Services across the UK.

The collaborative aims "to support community and inpatient teams within mental health services to understand demand, develop and test change ideas to improve flow, reduce waiting lists and manage demand in creative ways and to provide opportunities for peer-to-peer sharing and learning through regular in-person events." 


Havering Children and Adolescent Mental Health Services Launch Interview

One of the four NELFT teams involved in the collaborative at the Havering Children and Adolescent Mental Health Services.  (supported by Kelly Anderson, Advanced Quality Improvement Practitioner, NELFT). To support shared learning across NELFT we asked the service more about why they chose to get involved with the quality improvement collaborative, to which Nicola Upton (Head of Targeted CAMHS within Havering CAMHS) was kind enough to respond to. Read more below:

1. How did you team hear about the collaborative? photo of team

The QI team in NELFT shared, due to the a recent presentation on Havering CAMHS in the Quality Safety Committee.  

2. Why did the team choose to take part?

The referrals into CAMHS have increased significantly over the years in line with the NHS strategy to increase access for children and young people into Mental health services. With limited financial investment to support this. Therefore, the unintended consequence of the increased access and lack of skilled trained CAMHS professionals is children and young people (CYP) are now held on internal ‘hidden’ wait list outside of the RTT. Hence, these CYP do not have access to appropriate treatment nor support they require. Therefore, the service can only respond to urgent or recognised high need cases, resulting in the service failing to deliver an equitable provision. There is also recognised difficulties internally around patient flow, and possibly unrealistic expectations of the CAMHS offer to external stakeholders. We would like to future proof the service, allowing us to meet targets but also provided the treatment that is indicated in a safe, responsive manner following evidence-based pathways and QNCC standards.

3. Who is leading the project and who is in your project team and how did you choose the team? 

Project lead is Nicola Upton, the clinical and administrative CAMHs team were requested to submit an interest to sign up, and liaised with others that were influential in co-production and transformation in Havering

4. How was the first learning day for you and the team? What did you learn or take away from the day? 

The team really enjoyed the introduction to the collaborative, and really enabled us to see the challenges we faced, the team particularly enjoyed the game.

5. What are your next steps as a team to move forward in the project? 

We have attended the introduction and 2 subsequent project team meetings, support by NELFT QI and RCPSYCH QI mentor. Service mapping has been successful, and now considering area of focus which will be decided on 16.03.2023 and thereafter will be bi weekly meetings, and 1st learning set on 27th April. Progress is also being shared through the London Strategic CAMHS group and working hard on co production and user participation to influence and support the project group.

6. Any other thoughts to add? 

I feel the collaborative has given the team energy to think differently within a framework.


Learn more from the collaborative

We will continue to share learnings from the collaborative here: Royal College of Psychiatrists: Demand, Capacity & Flow Collaborative | NELFT NHS Foundation Trust

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