Improving children and young people's mental health services in Oldham

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Summary of report content

Rochdale, Oldham, Bury and Trafford Healthwatch worked together to gather the experiences of parents and carers whose children use, or who have used local mental health services. A total of 90 families from Oldham took part in the review and 35 interviews were conducted with professionals in schools and local services. 

The report found that there were difficulties getting referrals and experiences of long waits for first appointments. Parents and teachers were concerned about the lack of communication between schools and services which impact on providing holistic support. Comments suggest that Autism and ADHD are dealt with in isolation by services and young people with a dual condition are considered too complex and are refused or discharged from the service. Due to the turnover of staff some families had more than one therapist, making it harder to develop trust with the professional and reduces the effectiveness of talking therapy treatments. Parents want to know where to go in the event of a crisis and want front-line staff in urgent care to be trained to understand and respond appropriately.

A number of recommendations were made in the report relating to prevention, timely access, knowledge of services, holistic support, joined up working, communication, training, discharge and reviews.

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General details

Report title 
Improving children and young people's mental health services in Oldham
Local Healthwatch 
Healthwatch Oldham
Date of publication 
Monday, 20 July, 2020
Type of report 
Key themes 
Booking appointments
Communication between staff and patients
Holistic support
Information providing
Integration of services
Quality of care
Quality of staffing
Service delivery organisation and staffing
Staff levels
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 
Structured 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

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

Details about conditions and diseases

Types of disabilities 
Learning or understanding or concentrating
Mental health

Details of people who shared their views

Number of people who shared their views 
Age group 
Specific ethnicity if known 
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? 
Types of health and care professionals engaged 
All care professionals
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? 

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.