A service offering specialist community mental health services for children and young people has been rated ‘good’ by inspectors.
The Care Quality Commission (CQC) 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 to 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 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.
Inspectors said the service had clear criteria for referrals into the service with appropriate timescales while staff – who were passionate, enthusiastic and dedicated – delivered care in a thoughtful and sensitive way that was adaptive to the needs of the young person.
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.
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 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.”