Partnership Trust (CWPT) is engaging children and young people in a variety of ways to better support them whilst they wait to access and use CAMHS services. These activities include a magazine written by young people for young people, consultation opportunities which include parents/carers, involvement of young people in producing information with clinicians and videos on the service, as well as the development of a series of video animations with CORC.

Background

Through feedback surveys CWPT became aware of the increased anxiety felt by children and young people (and their families) whilst they were waiting to access the service. They wanted to find a way to support them during this time and help them feel less alone. It also seemed important to unlock the mystery of what CAMHS is, often the not knowing can create added anxiety and apprehension for children and young people about what was involved in their treatment. A Young Person’s Involvement Worker was seconded from the Local Authority, with a role dedicated to the inclusion of young people. Over time more children and young people have become involved and clinicians are very supportive of this approach as they can also refer children and young people if they think this could help them

Tackling the problems

Staff at the service feel that children and young people face a lot of pressure in their lives and were hearing the need for them to feel more connected with people who were going through similar experiences. There was also a need to ensure children and young people were aware of support for them, including the CAMHS offer. A magazine, entitled Your Voice, was created to help children and young people share their experiences. It is distributed throughout the CAMHS services, in waiting rooms as well as to schools across Coventry and Warwickshire. A consultation is currently live to explore the provision of additional support, such as a weekly drop in model. Since the summer period, clinicians have been videoed speaking about their roles within the CAMHS service, giving young people and their families some information on what the various clinicians do. Recently, CWPT have been working with Josh, 16, who has produced video animations about outcome measures, explaining what they are and how they might be used within treatment. These animations can be used by the service and wider CORC membership to inform young people about this aspect of their care. By asking a young person to create them, CWPT have both ensured they are comprehensive and provided valuable involvement for a young person.

Josh says “I got involved through work experience and it just developed from there. I have learned to work the animation software and enjoy the process of producing these animations for the service.”

The impact

  • Children and young people are in better contact with each other and the service as a while
  • Dedicated Involvement Worker has ensured that children and young people are participating
  • Clinicians have resources to help them support the young person whilst they wait for treatment
  • Access to information and vidos about clinicians’ roles have lessened the ‘mystery’ of CAMHS for young people and their families
  • Children and young people feel more confident about what accessing support mean

Key learning

Participation activities require a lot of time and resources to succeed, meaning that a lot is asked of service staff, but well worth the effort!

How did CORC help?

CORC have supported the development and creation of the series of animations on outcome measures and is always a great point of contact for information/ networking and kicking fresh ideas around!

How can participation work help you and your service?

If anyone would like to know more about CWPT’s participation work, please contact Kulwant Basi, Business Manager, on: kulwant.basi@covwarkpt.nhs.uk.

Many thanks to Kulwant for providing us with this case study.