Eight ways to make a difference: children's and young people's mental health services

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Summary of report content

Healthwatch Gateshead and Healthwatch Newcastle-upon-Tyne undertook research about children and young people’s experience of mental health services following several changes to the way these services were delivered locally.  They received 279 responses to a survey and spoke to 17 individuals via one-to-one interviews and a focus group.

The report starts by looking at people’s experience of self-referrals to children and young people’s mental health services.  People still wanted to refer themselves via a GP or another health or social care professional. When asked how they wanted the self-referral process to be promoted, the most common methods were via teachers and school staff or social media.

Most people had not heard of Kooth, an online counselling and support service, and hardly anyone had used it. When Healthwatch told people what Kooth was, most felt that it was a useful resource and said it should be promoted more via teachers, schools and social media.

Most people Healthwatch spoke to via one-to-one interviews and a focus group were aware of the single point of access, and most were happy with the service they received. They said that the service was good, provided useful information, was well organised and responsive. These people also highlighted that the staff were friendly, helpful, approachable and did listen.

One-to-one interviews and the focus group highlighted other issues with children’s and young people’s access to mental health services, including waiting times, limited access to support between appointments and pre- and post-diagnosis and poor quality of service.

The report contains eight recommendations about promoting and improving children and young people’s access to mental health services.

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General details

Report title 
Eight ways to make a difference: children's and young people's mental health services
Local Healthwatch 
Healthwatch Gateshead
Healthwatch Newcastle Upon Tyne
Date of publication 
Wednesday, 10 June, 2020
Date evidence capture began 
Wednesday, 1 January, 2020
Date evidence capture finished 
Tuesday, 31 March, 2020
Type of report 
Key themes 
Continuity of care
Health promotion
Integration of services
Quality of care
Quality of treatment
Waiting times and lists for treatment
Healthwatch reference number 

Methodology and approach

Was the work undertaken at the request of another organisation? 
Primary research method used 
Focus group
Unstructured Interview
How was the information collected? 
If an Enter and View methodology was applied, was the visit announced or unannounced? 

Details of health and care services included in the report

Secondary care services 
Child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS)
Mental health services 
Child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS)

Details about conditions and diseases

Types of long term conditions 
Mental health condition
What type of pregnancy or maternity themes are included in the report 

Details of people who shared their views

Number of people who shared their views 
Age group 
Sexual orientation 
Not known
Does the information include public's views? 
Does the information include carer's, friend's or relative's views? 
Does the information include staff's views? 
Does the information include other people's views? 
What was the main sentiment of the people who shared their views? 

Outcomes and impact

Were recommendations made by local Healthwatch in the report? 
Does the information contain a response from a provider? 
Is there evidence of impact in the report? 
Is there evidence of impact external to the report? 
Not known

Network Impact
Relationships that exist locally, regionally, nationally have benefited from the work undertaken in the report
Implied Impact
Where it is implied that change may occur in the future as a result of Healthwatch work. This can be implied in a provider  response, press release or other source. Implied impact can become tangible impact once change has occurred.
Tangible Impact
There is evidence of change that can be directly attributed to Healthwatch work undertaken in the report.