Minister for Community and Social Care thanks staff for their support to young people over festive period

Alistair Burt, Minister of State for Community and Social Care on a visit to the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Unit at Rush Court, Bedford
Alistair Burt, Minister of State for Community and Social Care on a visit to the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Unit at Rush Court, Bedford

Alistair Burt, Minister of State for Community and Social Care, visited the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Team at Rush Court, Bedford today, (Jan 8), to thank staff for their support to young people over the festive period.

He was told about a number of developments to improve the way services are provided to ensure young people and their families can be assessed and quickly access the appropriate treatment programme or intervention.

He also met members of the multi-disciplinary Child and Adolescent Mental Health Team who provide a variety of clinical interventions to young people experiencing moderate to

severe mental health issues.

The service also has a targeted Home Treatment Team who support ‘high risk’ people in the home environment to prevent an inpatient admission where clinically appropriate. The team have developed strong links with the local A&E department, GPs and schools providing a rapid response to crisis referrals within working hours.

The Bedfordshire group is part of a national CAMHS School Pilot which aims to support health services and schools to work more closely to promote mental health wellbeing in schools.

Ten schools across Bedfordshire will part in the pilot including five special needs schools for young people living with mental health and learning disabilities.

CAMHS will deliver training to education staff on a range of mental health topics with the aim to equip schools with the skills to identify mental health issues at an earlier stage.

Clinicians will also be providing clinics at the schools, improving access to services for those young people experiencing mental health issues.

One of the key areas for the transformation plan is to expand the current Eating Disorder Service for both Bedfordshire and Luton with the emphasis of local support and training within

the community to help reduce the hospital admission rate.

CAMHS are working in partnership with the local Children’s Specialist Health Visiting Team (the Family Nurse Partnership) to provide clinical supervision for staff working with teenage parents.

In addition, CAMHS, in partnership with Bedford Hospital, have recently and appointed staff to provide a Paediatric Clinical Psychology service to

young people with life-limiting conditions.

John Wilkins, managing director Bedfordshire and Luton Mental Health and Wellbeing Services, said,“The Minister visited the service at an exciting time. We are about to introduce a number of

changes to expand and develop our services to improve the support we offer to families in Bedfordshire and reduce waiting times for services.

“It is not easy when a child or teenager has psychological and mental health issues. It affects the whole family, so we are working with schools and primary care services to ensure they get help

as soon as possible to help them to get back on track.”

Mr Burt, MP for North East Beds, said:“Rush Court staff have worked incredibly hard to support young people over the festive period, and I was glad of the opportunity to thank them.

“There are a number of impressive services, such as the home treatment team that prevents high risk young people being admitted to hospital unnecessarily. They have worked very hard to forge relationships with local schools, GPs and A&E departments.

“I am pleased to hear that Bedfordshire is due to be part of a national pilot scheme meaning every school will have a dedicated consultant psychiatrist, and I look forward to hearing about

the developments at Rush Court.”