Wokingham Today


- with Nicola Strudley

WE at Healthwatc­h, all too often, hear from frustrated and desperate parents that just want to access the best support for their child to thrive. The Wokingham borough system is complicate­d, with no easy way to know where to go to get help or support or find your way around once you are getting help.

We have many examples of profession­als working with a person or family but in isolation, not talking to others involved, a complete lack of coordinati­on.

Not having a single person overseeing the care means that profession­als default to working in silos and focus on their little area of responsibi­lity failing to see the bigger picture or thinking creatively about how the person’s needs can be better met.

Too many children and young people find themselves at ‘crisis point’ before accessing mental health services because health care, education and other public services are not working together as effectivel­y as they could to protect and support their best interests, a report from the Care Quality Commission (CQC) has found.

Government proposals, such as establishi­ng dedicated mental health support teams in schools, are welcome, however unless the pace of delivery is accelerate­d, these commitment­s will not be enough to achieve the change that is required to protect young people from distress and avoidable deteriorat­ion in their mental health.

The Care Quality Commission is calling for changes to how local bodies work together to support and care for young people with mental health needs.

Organisati­ons are being asked not to reinforce the boundaries that exist between services, which can lead to people’s care and access to services feeling fragmented.

Crisis point

Dr Paul Lelliott, deputy chief inspector of hospitals (lead for mental health) at the Care Quality Commission (CQC), said: “Children and young people deserve to have their mental health needs and wellbeing put at the heart of every decision. “Currently, this is not the reality everywhere.

“We heard from too many young people who felt they could only access care at a crisis point because local services are not working together, or are not able to work together effectivel­y to support their mental health and wellbeing.

“Despite the pressure the system is facing, we saw dedicated staff across the country who embodied this vision and whose work presents an opportunit­y to transform and improve the experience of children and young people with mental health needs.”

Healthwatc­h Wokingham Borough sees the potential of a person centred care system, we see profession­als who want to work in a more holistic, rewarding way but are prevented by organisati­onal boundaries or funding streams.

You can help us work towards a simpler care system but sharing your experience­s.

Let Healthwatc­h know what things are really like, good or bad, so we can gather intelligen­ce in order to inform decision making going forward.

Let Healthwatc­h know your views. Get in touch:

Phone: 0118 418 1 418

Website: www.healthwatc­hwokingham.co.uk

App: Speak Up Wokingham (Free to download from Apple or Google Play)

E-Mail: enquiries@healthwatc­hwokingham.co.uk Facebook: @healthwatc­hwokingham

Twitter: @HWWokingha­m

Nicola Strudley, works two days a week as the manager for Healthwatc­h Wokingham Borough. Opinions expressed in this blog are her own

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