Improving autism and ADHD care at heart of plan
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.”
PHOTO: DOMINIC LIPINSKI/PA WIRE