23 May 2019
There has been lots of news stories, in recent months, about how people in inpatient care are being treated. On Monday (20 May), The Children’s Commissioner for England, Anne Longfield, published a report about how children with learning disabilities or autism are being ‘let down’ because they are being admitted to secure units unnecessarily, without going through other potentially more suitable treatment options.
The report does mention examples of good practice, and pleasingly, it includes our Ealing’s Intensive Therapeutic Short Breaks Service (ITSBS), which provides mental health and social care support for children and their families, to help children stay at home. “The service has demonstrated improved outcomes for children and created savings for the local authority by avoiding hospital admissions. Out of 43 children who have used the service over the last ten years only five have ended up in residential care,” states the report.
The report also alludes to Building My Future (BMF), another one of our services. The aim is to work with children with additional needs to improve life skills and avoid school exclusion. The report highlights this as “a good example of an early support multi-disciplinary service which does not have access thresholds and can reach out to children with additional needs in the community and put preventive support in place. The involvement of youth services in the programme has been particularly successful, encouraging children to get out into the community.”
Dr Sally Morgan, Principal Clinical Psychologist for Building My Future (BMF), has commented on Ealing’s mentions in this report, and says: “I’m proud that the work we do here in Ealing has been recognised as an example of good practice. We work hard here, together with our social care and education colleagues, to provide a timely wrap-around service for children with additional needs that helps to keep children in the communities, where they belong. There is more to do here to fully meet the needs of our local community, but we have demonstrated that this model provides clinically and cost effective services that improves lives for children and their families.”
Both ITSBS and BMF services are funded by Ealing Council. ITSBS is entirely staffed by West London NHS Trust clinicians while BMF has four clinical psychologists from the Trust. This is under our Children and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS) to which you can contact by going on their website.