Children & Young People’s mental health in Shropshire, Telford & Wrekin

SDN has received a press release from Shropshire Healthwatch and Telford & Wrekin Healthwatch asking that we share this information with our members.

“It has been widely reported over the recent months that the on-going Covid-19 pandemic has impacted the mental health of children and young people and this has led to a greater severity of need among many and an increased demand on services at a time when services have had to adapt to working under Government pandemic restrictions and increased staff shortages.

However, the lack of ‘Tier 4’ beds (specialist inpatient beds for the most seriously unwell) in the county means that children and young people will be admitted to either Royal Shrewsbury Hospital or Princess Royal Hospital, or The Redwoods Centre (an adult mental health hospital) while waiting to be moved to a suitable hospital outside Shropshire.

Healthwatch Shropshire and Healthwatch Telford & Wrekin were asked to give these children and young people the opportunity to share their experiences and say what could have been done to improve the help they have received.

Lynn Cawley, Chief Officer of Healthwatch Shropshire, said, “The report highlights the need for the system to reduce waiting times and provide information, support and advice for children, young people and their families and schools while waiting for assessment, diagnosis and specialist services to prevent crisis. Alongside this there needs to be close monitoring to ensure children and young people can be prioritised according to need and closer partnership working to include schools and adult services to ensure no child or young person falls into the gaps between services. We heard from families and professionals who were calling for more awareness raising and training to help them to support the children and young people who are struggling.”

Barry Parnaby, Chair of Healthwatch Telford & Wrekin, said “Barry Parnaby, Chair of Healthwatch Telford & Wrekin, said “We have been aware of the pressure many children and young people are under – issues which have been exacerbated by the pandemic. This report provides a unique opportunity to understand and act to improve services based on the knowledge and experiences of young people, as well as their friends, family members and professionals within the sector.

“A key finding within the report centres on the need for additional support for young people and their families when using the services available. Whilst the report has now been completed, we look forward to continuing to work with local providers, users and others to improve services and support people where possible.”

People can read the full report here

Healthwatch is the independent health and social care champion. It gathers the views and experiences of patients, service users, carers, and the general public about services including hospitals, GPs, mental health services, community health services, pharmacists, opticians, residential care and children’s services.  It also has statutory powers that it can use to influence service provision by encouraging improvements.

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