Report: Children, Young People and Families’ Experiences of Chronic Asthma Management and Care

This recent report aims to better understand young people’s experience of managing chronic asthma and how asthma care and management could be improved particularly for groups experiencing exclusion and living in areas of deprivation.  

Click on the above image to see the report, or click here to go to the hosting website.

This report is led by the Young People’s Health Partnership working closely with partners at the Association for Young People’s Health, the Race Equality FoundationFriends, Families and Travellers and RCPCH &Us.

It was written by PMHA member Jeremy Sachs (to visit his personal website click here), who worked to produce it with the Association for Young People’s Health.

Liaison Psychiatry / Paediatric Liaison Network

Liaison psychiatrists work at the interface between physical and psychological health.

Providing specialist mental health assessment and treatment for patients attending general hospitals, they deal with a range of problems including self-harm, adjustment to illness and physical and psychological co-morbidities.

The clinical content of liaison psychiatry practice is complex, and every day brings a new challenge.

Liaison Psychiatrists educate general hospital colleagues to improve their knowledge, skills and confidence in the basics of management of common mental health problems that they encounter in their practice.

Liaison psychiatrists work with medical and surgical colleagues as their patients can have high levels of mental health problems.

Also, patients with chronic disease may have difficulty managing their condition which liaison psychiatric input can help.

Child and Adolescent Mental Health is moving increasingly under the spotlight on political and public agendas. We are seeing almost daily media articles focusing on the rising rates of acute presentations of children and adolescents in crisis to Emergency Departments (ED), as well as the expanding waiting lists for community Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS). Although there have been developments in policy to address the needs of young people with mental health difficulties such as Future in Mind1, the Five Year Forward View for Mental Health2 and the Long Term Plan3; there is still a long way to go to achieve parity with adult mental health services, let alone physical health provisions.

The Psychiatric Liaison Accreditation Network (PLAN) Accreditation Committee were keen to broaden the scope of the current PLAN Quality Standards to encompass patients of all ages.

The standards in this document have been developed from current legislation, guidance and experts, and shared with members of the RCPsych Paediatric Liaison Network6 for their input and approval.

Quality Standards for Children and Young People for Liaison Psychiatry Services Royal College of Pschiatrists April 2019

Click here for full report

Let them play…

Allowing young children to play with their friends must be prioritised as soon as possible when lockdown is eased.

This was the argument made by this really interesting post published recently on the ACAMH Blog.

The article discusses the fact that while the Covid-19 pandemic has posed a lower risk of physical health problems for children, it has transformed the social lives of children more rapidly than anyone could have imagined.

A recent rapid systematic review concluded that loneliness and social isolation adversely affect children’s short- and long-term mental health (Loades, M. E. et al). 

You can read the full post on the blog by clicking here.

Guardian Article about Covid-19 and mental health

There was an interesting article about the Coronavirus and mental health in the UK published in the comment section of the The Guardian today. Have a read and tell us what you think…

Has the pandemic really caused a ‘tsunami’ of mental health problems?

Richard Bentall, Professor of Clinical Psychology: University of Sheffield

“With a team of experts from the Universities of Sheffield, Ulster, Liverpool, UCL and Royal Holloway and Bedford College I have been monitoring the mental health of the UK population since the beginning of the crisis. Looking at our findings, we think that this tsunami narrative is misleading. If accepted uncritically, it could undermine efforts to protect the health of the population and also our ability as a nation to recover once the crisis is over. Here is why….

Click here to read the complete article

BEST PRACTICE Article

BMJ September 2020

Jessica R Turnbull, Michael Farquhar

Fifteen-minute consultation on problems in the healthy child: sleep

ABSTRACT

Sleep-related issues are common reasons children present to health professionals. Many factors can adversely affect sleep quality, and there are many associations of inadequate sleep, including behavioural problems, obesity and accidental injury. We review the current evidence, and suggest practical management strategies to promote better sleep, and hopefully, better functioning for child and family alike.

Click here to read the article

RCPCH statement on Child Mental Health

1st September 2020

Mental health issues are increasingly common among children and young people—suicide is now the leading cause of death for both males and females aged five to 19 years old, and one in eight people among this age group is currently living with a mental health condition. 

Children and young people in vulnerable groups are even more at risk, including LGBTQ+ people, low income households, children in care, and those with parental mental health issues, special educational needs, on child protection plans, or in the criminal justice system. 

Underinvestment in mental health is a longstanding concern. This has been amplified by the pandemic due to the extra stress caused by prolonged school closures, social isolation, adverse social and environmental circumstances, and a lack of access to usual support services. 

RCPCH’s Assistant Officer for Mental Health and Wellbeing, Dr Karen Street, says: “Our key message is that our patients’ mental health is our business. There is a joint responsibility to provide necessary services across the children’s workforce. 

“In the wake of COVID-19, many children and young people will have greater mental health support needs. As services begin to recover, the time is ripe to connect across the entire child health workforce and local, regional, and national boundaries. Together, we can work to develop improved and integrated mental health services.” 

In its statement, the College includes a number of recommendations, including: 

  • All paediatric teams should have a nominated lead for mental health. 
  • Paediatric training must include promotion of wellbeing in children and young people and management of common mental health issues. 
  • Paediatricians with higher exposure to issues need more extensive training and support. 
  • Paediatricians should not be expected to work in isolation when managing severe cases of mental illness. 
  • Use of mental health screening tools in higher risk people should be considered. 

The College will also continue to support mental health through its activities, including: 

  • Having an Assistant Officer for Mental Health on its Health Improvement Committee. 
  • Working with NHSE and HEE to implement of the NHSE Long Term Plan. 
  • Developing training through its Child Mental Health Specialty Advisory Committee. 
  • Developing the Progress curriculum for all paediatric trainees to include mental health. 
  • Partnering with MindEd to produce a paediatric ‘learning path’. 

Read the College’s full position statement on the role of paediatricians in mental health here

Reimagining the future of paediatric care after COVID-19

Last month, the RCPCH published an interesting report Reimagining the future of paediatric care post-COVID-19 – a reflective report of rapid learning‘. The report is the first in a series of reports from the Paediatrics 2014 Project.

“This report, published on 26 June 2020, is the first in a series from the Paediatrics 2040 project that will inform RCPCH’s vision for the future of paediatrics in the UK. We summarise our learning from this period of rapid change, focusing in particular on the elements of new practice that we want to keep and take forwards into the future…

To read the report, click the link below:

https://www.rcpch.ac.uk/resources/reimagining-future-paediatric-care-post-covid-19-reflective-report-rapid-learning

RCPCH: State of Child Health 2020

In March, the RCPCH published its ‘State of Child Health 2020’ report. This landmark report provides a snapshot of infant, children and young people’s physical and mental health. 

The RCPCH say: “On 4 March 2020, RCPCH launched our new State of Child Health. The update provides the latest data from our 2017 indicators, alongside evidence for new indicators, including: looked after children, mental health, youth violence, young carers and the child health workforce. Alongside this, we’ve spoken to 2,000 children and young people to find out what makes them feel “healthy, happy and well”.

We’ve outlined our key asks for each of the UK Governments, which we hope will ensure delivery of key policy decisions to improve child health outcomes.

The State of Child Health 2020 Report utilises comparable UK data across 27 child health and wellbeing indicators to produce a range of associated recommendations aimed at improving outcomes. It builds on the 2017 Report which provided an unprecedented snapshot of how infant, children and young people’s physical and mental health was faring across the UK.  

Click below to read the report:

http://www.rcpch.ac.uk/state-of-child-health

Request for information:

Any guidance on managing unwell children in acute settings who have learning difficulties or autism

Dr. Cassie Coleman, a paediatrician in Oxford, is looking for anyone who is aware of any guidance on managing unwell children in acute settings who have learning difficulties or autism.

They are going to write guidance in Oxford but would be grateful if anyone has already done some work on this in their regions and is happy to share.

If you have any information, please can you email it to: cass81@doctors.org.uk

Thank you!