Coronavirus: Berkshire CAMHS issues services update

The NHS in Berkshire has asked us to share the following information about services for children and young people with additional needs and their families during the coronavirus pandemic:

Berkshire Healthcare NHS Trust’s CAMHS, Neurodiversity and all-age Eating Disorders services are working hard to ensure that they can continue to provide care and support to children, young people and families over this challenging period.

Critical activities that the services will be prioritising are:

  • Triage and assessment of new referrals to ensure identification of patients at high clinical risk
  • Rapid Response to young people presenting in, or at high and immediate risk of crisis/deliberate self-harm/suicide
  • Review of medication (in urgent cases, where risk is high) and prescribing where prescribing can only be done by CAMHS Psychiatry
  • Assessment, development of treatment plans & delivery of therapeutic interventions for high need/high risk children & young people
  • Liaison and consultation to other professionals regarding urgent mental health concerns
  • Urgent assessment/review related to the Mental Health Act and assessment and planning/arrangement of acute mental health inpatient admission.

They are working to deliver services via telephone or video consultation where it is clinically safe and appropriate to do so.

For the time being, Berkshire Healthcare NHS Trust continues to run services from all of its sites but if staff numbers fall below safe levels, plans are in place to enable relocation of services to fewer sites in order to maintain safe delivery of clinical care.

Staff have mobile working technology to give them access to clinical systems when working from home and the provision of assessment and treatment via telephone is already in place, with additional video capability up and running by the end of this week.

The Autism Assessment and Anxiety & Depression Teams also have the ability to offer support via the SHaRON (Support, Hope & Resources On-line Network) and all families in these services have been invited to access this system.

The Autism Assessment Team also works in partnership with an online provider to offer a number of assessments online and it is hoped there will be less impact on this way of delivering assessments.

Face-to-face contact will still be available across all services where it is needed to assess and manage clinical risk, however that will be in the context of due consideration of any additional risks that are the result of the coronavirus outbreak.

Please note that young people and families who have symptoms of coronavirus, also known as COVID-19, do not attend appointments and make contact with the service to arrange a telephone or video appointment instead.

The trust will maintain services to support young people presenting in crisis and are working to set up access to crisis assessment and support away from hospitals where possible.

In order to ensure that critical activities are maintained, the trust will be pausing non-critical activities where necessary and is asking people to check its website before contacting its services for information.

Click here to visit the CAMHS website.