Learning Collaborative for Paediatric Mental Health Leads

A new group supported by the RCPCH is being established to support paediatricians in acute settings who work as, or are interested in becoming, “Paediatric Mental Health Lead” for their clinical team.

If you would like to be a part of this group, please email acutesetting.cypmh@nhs.net to be added to the mailing list for the next meeting.

For further information, please read the following introductory email from Kate Pye, Deputy Director of CYP Nursing at NHS England, and Karen Street, RCPCH Officer for Mental Health:

“Dear colleagues,

We are inviting you to the first meeting of our learning collaborative for those in mental health/physical health clinical lead roles in acute/paediatric settings, with a view to help those in these roles feel supported and to provide a place where they can share learning and challenges.

Please note that this group is intended for clinical leads based in an emergency department or other acute paediatric setting, rather than strategic/policy leads who work across mental and physical health.

Background/context

In 2021, the RCPCH issued a position statement that outlines the role of Paediatricians in supporting children and young people’s mental health. A key recommendation was to have a Mental Health Lead in every team.

More recently NHS England created a website to outline the NHS response to meeting the challenge of increasing referrals to mental health services, giving useful resources and guidelines.

As part of trialling ‘what works’ for CYP with mental health needs in acute settings, NHS England released limited funding for 2022/23 to regions and systems. Several areas have decided to focus on trialling mental health/physical health lead roles to ensure there is designated time within each provider to champion the change needed to care for these CYP (and their families) and to develop staff appropriately.

Some of you may therefore have been invited by regional colleagues as part of the above work, whilst others of you may already have been in these roles.

We’re keen to open this group out to make it as helpful as possible, so would encourage you to forward on to those who you believe are in the same roles – or roles similar to you – that would typically cover the following key functions:

  • Encourage the uptake of training across their departments
  • Provide leadership and link into trust governance structures, facilitating joint working across the mental health pathway and the wider system
  • Provide guidance to their colleagues, empowering them to feel competent and supported

Group aims

In addition to serving as a peer support network, we are also keen to understand via this group colleagues’ experiences of the role including:

  • Key challenges and lessons learned
  • Key successes and how these were achieved
  • How much time they feel is required
  • How their efforts are being received by other staff, particularly across their wider system (i.e. linking with mental health colleagues)
  • What other support they might need to deliver and excel in the role

The group will be chaired by Kate Pye, Deputy Director of CYP Nursing at NHS England. We plan to use part of the first session to understand how colleagues would like to use a group such as this moving forward and how we can make it as helpful as possible for those joining.

Please do feel free to email us at acutesetting.cypmh@nhs.net if you’ve any questions.”

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