Im­prov­ing autism and ADHD care at heart of plan

Buckinghamshire Advertiser - - NEWS - By JAS­MINE RAPSON Lo­cal Democ­racy Re­porter

IM­PROV­ING care for young peo­ple with con­di­tions such as autism and at­ten­tion deficit hy­per­ac­tiv­ity dis­or­der (ADHD) forms part of a ma­jor trans­for­ma­tion plan for chil­dren’s men­tal health ser­vices in Bucks.

Last week Bucks County Coun­cil’s (BCC) health and well­be­ing board was up­dated on the re­freshed pro­pos­als as part of an an­nual re­view.

The county’s trans­for­ma­tion plan came to light in 2015 af­ter the gov­ern­ment an­nounced all ar­eas in the coun­try should pub­lish a doc­u­ment out­lin­ing ser­vices for young peo­ple’s men­tal health and well­be­ing.

Buck­ing­hamshire clin­i­cal com­mis­sion­ing group’s (CCG) clin­i­cal di­rec­tor for men­tal health, Sian Roberts, told the board this year’s draft re­view is more de­tailed, af­ter the NSPCC and NHS Eng­land raised con­cerns the plan “is not as good as it could be”.

In July it was re­vealed tens of thou­sands of abused and ne­glected chil­dren across Bucks are not re­ceiv­ing ad­e­quate men­tal health care, prompt­ing the NSPCC to call for the NHS to take “ur­gent action”.

Ms Roberts says the key aim is to im­prove ac­cess, with a view to have a third of chil­dren with men­tal health prob­lems seen by the Child and Ado­les­cent Men­tal Health Ser­vices (CAMHS), or an­other men­tal health ser­vice, by 2020.

She added that fo­cus on chil­dren with neuro-de­vel­op­men­tal con­di­tions, such as autism and ADD, needs to be im­proved to en­sure their needs are be­ing met.

Ms Roberts said: “We are think­ing about those with com­plex needs.

“The area we are not do­ing as well in Bucks is ac­tu­ally those with neu­rode­vel­op­men­tal prob­lems, so those chil­dren po­ten­tially with autism or at­ten­tion deficit hy­per­ac­tiv­ity dis­or­der.

“There’s a lot of work at the mo­ment with a col­lab­o­ra­tion with Buck­ing­hamshire Health Trust, which pro­vides a com­mu­nity pae­di­atrics ser­vice, as well as CAMHS, to make sure we are meet­ing the needs of those in­di­vid­u­als and we are work­ing very proac­tively to bring those wait­ing lists down.”

Im­prov­ing tran­si­tions for young peo­ple mov­ing into the adult men­tal health ser­vice is an­other key tar­get, as health chiefs work to make the change com­pletely “seam­less”.

Ms Roberts added: “The other area we have fo­cused on is tran­si­tions. We of­ten hear that with young chil­dren, cer­tainly as they get to­wards adult­hood, [the tran­si­tion] can get quite clunky and there can be some gaps.

“We are very keen to make sure there is a seam­less tran­si­tion to the adult ser­vices, and in fact would be un­aware they are tran­si­tion­ing at all.

“That would be the key out­come.

“All in all we feel pas­sion­ate and we feel it is im­por­tant our young chil­dren in Bucks do receive good ac­cess to men­tal health care.”

FILE PHOTO

PHOTO: DO­MINIC LIPINSKI/PA WIRE

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