Inpatient CAMHS Whole Team Training Programme

The Project

Improving the mental health and well-being of all children and young people is a national priority. In most cases, mental health needs can be met through community Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS); however a small number of young people have needs that can only be met through highly specialised inpatient care facilities.

Over recent years, the national Children and Young People’s Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (CYP IAPT) model has sought to transform mental health and emotional wellbeing services across England. A core mechanism for this service transformation has been a diverse range of training opportunities across CYP IAPT partnerships. Inpatient CAMHS Whole Team Training, funded through Health Education England (HEE), is one element of the national CYP IAPT initiative and aims to begin transforming existing inpatient services for children and young people by embedding outcome-focused CYP IAPT principles and evidence-based practice.

Associate Development Solutions (ADS) have assembled a small project team of highly qualified mental health professionals, each with comprehensive experience in delivering specialist mental health care and treatment to children and young people across community and inpatient settings. The project team has developed a comprehensive training curriculum, delivered to specialist CAMHS inpatient services across the Midlands and North East regions.

The Curriculum

Our curriculum recognises the complex needs of the children and young people requiring support in CAMHS inpatient facilities, as well as the complexities of the highly specialised environments providing the care and treatment they need. The curriculum is designed to be accessible for all inpatient team members and encourages interactive involvement from all participants. Team engagement and enthusiasm is spearheaded by ‘Ambassadors,’ senior members of the clinical team tasked with working closely with the delivery team, ensuring active engagement of participants, supporting their learning back in the clinical setting and embedding learning in the therapeutic milieu.

Training is delivered over ten days and incorporates didactive learning alongside action learning sets. Handbooks, materials and self-directed study literature are provided. The training is being comprehensively evaluated by our research department, measuring the success through tangible changes in participants knowledge, skills and confidence alongside perceptible improvements in the clinical environment.

The curriculum covers the following topics:

  • Introduction to child development: cognitive, biological, emotional and behavioural
  • Introduction to attachment theory
  • Societal and family systems
  • Least-restrictive practice
  • Principles of service transformation and change management
  • Effective use of Routine Outcome Measures (ROMs) and data gathering
  • Service-user participation
  • Stigma
  • Self-awareness, self-reflection and self-resilience
  • Group processes and effective team working
  • Journey of care, pre- to post-admission
  • Legal frameworks
  • Inter-agency working

The story so far

Following development of our curriculum, the project team took to the road, delivering the training programme to seven CAMHS inpatient services, comprising fifteen different inpatient units. These units varied in their specialism and included generic mental health units for children and young people; specialist units for young people with learning disabilities and co-occurring mental health problems; specialist eating disorder units; and Psychiatric Intensive Care Units (PICUs).

Feedback from all services has been really positive; participants have enjoyed attending the training and early analysis from our evaluation demonstrates significant improvements in reported knowledge, skills and confidence.

The project is now progressing into its fifth year. The project team are reviewing the curriculum in light of participant feedback and we are liaising with services once more to negotiate further delivery of the training to more of their staff, or support and facilitation should they wish to deliver the curriculum themselves.

If you want to know more about the Inpatient CAMHS Whole Team Training please get in touch via our contact page and mark for the attention of John Neary, the project’s clinical lead.