We had difficult but very positive meeting on children and adolescents mental health on September 27th. A big thank you to all that came, and all those who supported getting this going in the background.
We heard from a number of extremely concerned and indeed frustrated parents and carers, and some young people about what needs to be fixed and needs fixing fast! Most parents expressed deeply held concerns and an understanding that they are on really long journey. Many expressed good and bad experiences in obtaining support related to children and adolescents mental health. But even when the service is more positive their are many more issues to be dealt with.
There was a call for all provisions to be genuinely inclusive and for mental health to be on the curriculum at school, along with earlier intervention to prevent conditions and situations worsening. There is no doubt at all that urgent action is needed, to stop more suffering, to support parents, carers and children and adolescents.
Concerns expressed regarding children and adolescents mental health
Some of those concerns are
- There long waits for neuro diversity diagnoses, such as ADHD. Whilst steps are being taken to speed up this process. This can be up to a two year wait. Which is far too long. But more frustratingly if you the need an additional diagnostic that can mean waiting a further two years. So we have asked commissioners to look into that.
- The 3 week wait for prescriptions. Which are then sometimes incorrect, the wrong tablets or dosage. Which means a further request needs to be made which entails a further 3 week wait, or a real battle, to get a fresh correct prescription.
- The difference between the ‘shared care’ system, operational in West Kent but not in East Kent. This is much needed in Thanet. And would help to ensure a greater continuity of care.
- The lack of advocacy support and a process or service for children and their parents.
- The need perhaps for a further support group.
Call for a summit
At the meeting there were calls for a children and adolescents mental health summit. This was an idea that was backed by everyone. It follows the previous Mental Health Summit, which was very successful. A CAMHs Summit would need to involve school, youth workers, Sure Start, young people themselves along with the NHS. It would be a good way of bringing together many different groups and building a greater sense of community. I am hoping that we can pursued the NHS to do this.
Yesterday, 28th September I received the following email from Ailsa Ogilvie, Director of Partnerships and Membership Engagement, NHS Thanet Clinical Commissioning Group,
“We appreciated very much how many families came along to share their experiences and whilst there were no magic wands, we do hope people felt listened to and have some assurance that we shall go away to reflect on all that we heard. Dave and I shall talk this week to go through the list of feedback and to begin to plan our next steps.”
So, I will forward this email and any further suggestions I receive to Ailsa. You can contact Ailsa at firstname.lastname@example.org
So what can we do next? Please let me know and we’ll move forward together.
Local press coverage
Margaret Cox of The Isle of Thanet News covered the meeting.
Click here to read her full report.