Oxfordshire CAMHS Learning Disability Team finalist in RCPsych Awards

Oxfordshire CAMHS Learning Disability Team finalist in RCPsych Awards

Oxford Health’s specialist mental health team for children and young people with a learning disability are shortlisted for the Psychiatric Team of the Year in the Royal College of Psychiatrists Awards.

Oxfordshire CAMHS Learning Disability Team provides mental health services for children with moderate to severe learning disabilities, autism, and challenging behaviour. They work in close partnership with families and carers, residential homes, social care, special educational schools, paediatricians and other health professionals.

Dr Rosie Shepperd who nominated the team, said:

“In response to the pandemic, without any additional resources, our service rapidly redesigned and delivered a new Challenging Behaviour Pathway.  We were no longer able to see our patients, families, carers and schools face-to-face, which meant that an already insurmountable waiting list for interventions around Challenging Behaviour was going to grow further.”

Hayden Stothard, Clinical Team Manager commented:

“We decided as a team that we would focus on the young people who may not have the most challenging behaviour who are often overlooked when staff are responding to more severe cases. We set ourselves the goal of developing a pathway that would meet the needs of all of the young people, not just the few, and despite the lockdown restrictions, be able to deliver this virtually without an available increase in resources.

“We have used telephone and video-consultations to achieve this, and the efficiencies have enabled us to support more young people and families than ever before. Its outcomes have shown to be effective in reducing severe challenging behaviour at home and in schools.”

Dr Rosie Shepperd added:

“We are proud that we have not needed to refer anyone for hospital admission this past year, managing acute psychosis, depression, and severe anxiety in the community, despite the pandemic. The clinical leadership of Hayden, Amanda and Rosie has worked effectively with excellent admin support to galvanise the team and achieve these results.”

Endorsing the nomination, Trust CEO Dr Nick Broughton said:

“The Oxfordshire CAMHS Learning Disability Team is in my opinion a truly exceptional team that richly deserves to be recognised with this award. The team demonstrates in abundance the key characteristics of any great healthcare team: strong, dynamic leadership; a commitment to quality improvement and innovation; and a great culture which ensures that the needs of the service user are the priority and that everyone in the team feels valued, engaged and empowered.  The team’s response to the demands of the Covid-19 pandemic has been exemplary and I have been incredibly impressed by the way they have coped together with the considerable challenges they have faced.”

The team are Hayden Stothard, Gemma Abitabile, Dr Rosie Shepperd, Dr Ruth Reed, Dr Amanda Muir, Lena Gode, Esther Agboola-Olowude, Joanne Humphrey, Andrew Prophet, Maximillian Bramley and Ellen Devanney.

The winners of the RCPsych Awards will be announced at a virtual ceremony on Thursday, November 11.

Published: 14 September 2021