One year after the launch of the Mental Health Taskforce strategy, the County Durham Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) Crisis and Liaison Team continue to improve service on urgent care and recovery.
The original ‘experiment’ set to test out a mental health crisis care and liaison service for children and young people, and cut the expected response time from 18 hours to an average of around 90 minutes for all assessments. The team are now working a crisis and liaison model with an up to one hour response to liaison and up to a four hour response to community crisis assessments.
Currently the service operates over seven days, 8am-10pm, however from the beginning of March 2017, a 24/7 service commenced.
The original pilot launched with an investment of £827,000, fixed for an initial two years – they now have recurrent funding for crisis and liaison and additional funding to the end of March 2017 as part of the Urgent and Emergency Case (UEC) Vanguard Children and Young People (CYP) mental health acceleration monies. They are using this money to extend the service and provide an Intensive Home Treatment model for up to eight weeks. This work will facilitate prevention of admission to hospital, facilitate early discharge and provide an opportunity to support young people during very difficult periods in an intensive way. This will be offered to both young people not known to service who present to the crisis team via self-referral and also young people who are currently being cared for in community CAMHS teams but need a greater level of support. They are supported by local CCGs and Sustainability and Transformation Plans (STP) to commit to streamlining the Intensive Home Treatment service.
Since the pilot launched additional staff have been recruited in preparation for the 24/7 service and intensive home treatment. This means currently in place is a team manager, one Band 7 clinical nurse specialist, nine Band 6 crisis nurses, two Band 5 newly qualified nurses and a Band 3 support worker temporary to the end of March 2017. They also have the original team secretary and an additional 0.6 admin resource temporary to the end of March 2017.
The service still use the crisis recovery care plans regularly, ensuring the young person and immediate carers remain central to the process. Following on from this work they are now developing parent/carer safe plans to help them to cope in a crisis situation with their young person. They are also looking to develop employed parent peer support workers to further enhance the provision offered to support parents. They are working closely with a local parent support group to offer advice and formal training to parents around coping in a crisis. They have also delivered numerous training events jointly with a parent with lived experience to help professionals understand self-harm and how they can support young people and parents/carers. This has been very well received and feedback has been excellent.
For more information https://www.england.nhs.uk/mental-health/case-studies/mh-county-durham/