It is widely recognised that young people with a learning disability are at greater risk of developing mental health or behavioural difficulties than their non-disabled peers. Having a disabled child in the family can present challenges as well as putting greater pressure on parents, carers and siblings.
Swindon Learning Disability CAMHS will work with young people up until their 18th birthday, who have a learning disability and:
- A mental health or emotional difficulties
- Complex behavioural difficulties that are disrupting everyday life
- Longstanding difficulties that are not getting any better despite mainstream services having offered the appropriate advice and support.
Who we are?
We are a specialist learning disability mental health service. We have a Consultant Psychiatrist, Clinical Psychologists and Learning Disability nurses. A young person may be seen by a single member of the team, however should their needs present as more complex, then they may need to be seen by more than one professional. Our team is based within the Salt Way multi-agency team, and we work closely with the other professionals to fully understand and support the child or young person.
What sort of things might we do?
We offer specialist assessment and interventions around a range of difficulties that may be experienced by the child or young person with learning disability, for example
- Behaviour difficulties
- Anger difficulties
- Sleep management
We may work with parents, or directly with the young person. We will work with you to agree a plan and consider what support is needed. We work within the principles of adopting interventions that are the least intrusive and least restrictive. We listen to families, and our assessment of the presenting need may include some or all of the following activities:
- Assessing the individual’s strengths and difficulties
- Considering physical health problems, communication difficulties, specific factors in relation to the child, the environment, and the current management approach
- Using a positive behaviour support approach; aiming to identify and understand the reasons why a young person may be behaving as they do, and planning how to adapt our response towards them
- Psychological assessment and intervention; observation and testing that helps us in understand an individual’s ability, functioning and behaviour style
- Psychiatric assessment, taking a developmental history and treatment; medication sometimes has a role but it is not a first-line option and should always be used alongside behavioural and other interventions
- Complex Autistic Spectrum Disorder and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder assessments for those who are receiving support from the team, when indicated as part of the neuro-developmental pathway
We also offer consultation to other professionals who may be working with somebody who has a learning disability and would like some specific specialist advice and guidance.
How do we do it?
We use the Care Programme Approach framework, which includes assessment, care planning, risk management and regular review. Each young person will have a named worker (care co-ordinator) and will have the opportunity to review their care plan every 6 months or sooner if required. Everyone who uses the service will be given the opportunity to use outcome measures to track and measure change, a goal planning tool to focus on the presenting difficulty, and service feedback forms, to let us know what we are doing well and what we could be doing better. We will keep your information confidential in line with the NHS England’s data protection policy and will seek your consent to share information with other’s involved.
How can you access the service and what can you expect?
Referrals can be made by any professional who supports your child. They will need to complete a Comprehensive CAMHS referral form which should then be sent via the Targeted Mental Health Service or directly to the Clinical Team Manager in the team. If you have received a service from the team before and your episode of care was closed less than 12 months ago, you may contact the team directly to discuss any further support you require. We aim to respond to emergency referrals within 24 hours, urgent referrals within 7 days and routine referrals within 4 weeks. We offer appointments in a variety of places, generally visiting young people in their own homes.
Moving on into adult services
As part of the care plan review, all young people and their carers we are working with will be supported to think about which health services they will require when they reach 18 years. When required, the care co-ordinator will make the appropriate referral to the adult learning disability team and, with consent they will ensure all relevant information is shared ensuring a smooth handover between services.
Hours of Business
Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm
Out of Hours provision
Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust provides an out of hours service to children and young people who have a learning disability and are experiencing serious mental health difficulties. This can be accessed through the young person’s out of hours GP, who may undertake an initial assessment before contacting our on call Senior Mental Health Practitioner, who has access to the Consultant Psychiatrist if required.
Last updated: 28 August, 2018