While We Were Waiting: CAHMS Report

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Summary of report content

Healthwatch Stoke on Trent devised a project called while "While we were waiting" this project was aimed to better understand the experiences of patients and families whilst waiting for CAHMS. There was four methods of information gathering, a focus group(20 attendees), semi-structured interview(5 participants), cultural animation(13 attendees), and web page(8 responses). The key themes across the report were, communication, confidentiality, agency cooperation, diagnosis, social and environmental factors, relationships, and information provisions. The project found that: diagnosis sometimes detracted from understanding and delivering for the needs of the child, communication was inconsistent between education services and health providers and cooperation must be built between these agencies, consistency is needed across services such as school nurses, education staff have a lack of understanding or access to specialist advice, parents sometimes have preexisting conditions that are undiagnosed that can affect outcomes, the effects of stigmatisation cannot be underestimated and the labeling of children can affect the care they recieve, some teachers are unaware of how they can support and do not have a support network to assist them with this, there are still questions around what support a parent can receive and how they request this. The report made nine recommendations: further engagement is advised as there are still data gaps perhaps through educational psychology, good practice across service areas should be shared, there should be more promotion into tier 2 services for staff and parents, have specialist support from CAHMS for mental health issues, work in partnership with parents and carers, all staff to be supported with data protection, simple consent boxes on CAHMS forms, SENCO's to be updated and made aware throughout treatment and diagnosis, more work to be done around the preventative agenda in schools, parents to be made aware of what they can expect, further promotion of the local offer, online resources to be made available around mental health, ensure consistent channels of communication between staff and parents long term, build community capacity to empower parents to engage with schools.

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General details

Report title 
While We Were Waiting: CAHMS Report
Local Healthwatch 
Healthwatch Stoke-on-Trent
Date of publication 
Wednesday, 23 August, 2017
Date evidence capture began 
Monday, 13 June, 2016
Date evidence capture finished 
Tuesday, 17 January, 2017
Type of report 
Key themes 
Communication between staff and patients
Continuity of care
Information providing
Patient records
Quality of appointment
Quality of care
Staff training
Healthwatch reference number 

Methodology and approach

Was the work undertaken at the request of another organisation? 
What type of organisation requested the work 
If this work has been done in partnership, who is the partner? 
Stoke Parent Carer Forum
Primary research method used 
Engagement event
Focus group
Structured interview
User stories
How was the information collected? 
Engagement Event
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 disabilities 
Learning or understanding or concentrating
Mental health
Types of long term conditions 
Learning disability
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 
Not known
Not known
Not 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
Care / support workers
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? 
Not known
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.