Agenda item

Community mental health services

To receive an update on community mental health services available and how mental health services are accessed.


Members received an update on community mental health services.


During the discussion of this item the following points were made:


·         David Cahill, Director - Wokingham Locality, Berkshire NHS Foundation Trust, informed Members that the Common Point of Entry (CPE) provided a single point of entry for a number of BHFT mental health services including; all new referrals for Adult Secondary Care mental health services, all new referrals to Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS), all new referrals to Older People’s Mental Health Services, all new referrals to Learning Disability services and all new referrals to Specialist Services. 

·         The CPE was based in The Old Forge, Wokingham.

·         Referrals were received from various sources.  All referrals were triaged; red (urgent), amber (semi urgent) and green (lower level need).  Councillor Blumenthal questioned how many patients had been referred under each category.  David Cahill commented that between 75 and 80% were signposted to other services.

·         Councillor Blumenthal queried how Wokingham compared to its Berkshire neighbours with regards to referrals.  David Cahill stated that a greater number of referrals to primary mental health services were made in Wokingham.

·         Members requested further information on the types and acuity of referrals.

·         All referrals for adult mental health services were assessed by the CPE multi-disciplinary team to identify whether secondary mental health services were required.

·         Approximately 4,000 new referrals out of a total of approximately 12,000 referrals had been received for Wokingham for the year.  This was slightly above average for Berkshire.

·         Members noted referral activity by GP practice.  Dr Zylstra commented that bigger practices would expect higher referral rates due to having larger patient numbers.

·         Councillor Miall referred to a report produced by Healthwatch Wokingham Borough which detailed several individuals’ somewhat negative experiences of Wokingham Community Mental Team following a mental health crisis.  David Cahill stated that training was provided to staff.  It was often difficult for staff to pick up cues as to how someone was feeling over the telephone.  Calls were recorded so staff could go back and later review them.  In addition support and debriefings were provided to staff when required as it was a stressful environment.


·         Karen Cridland- Director of Children's, Young People and Family Services, Berkshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust updated Members on the CAMHS.

·         Berkshire CAMHS was a specialist child and adolescent mental health service proving support, advice, guidance and treatment for children and young people up to the age of 18 with severe or moderate mental health difficulties, whose symptoms had a significant impact on their day to day lives.

·         The service was made up of:

Ø  CAMHS Common Point of Entry;

Ø  Autism Assessment Team;

Ø  ADHD Pathway;

Ø  Cognitive Behaviour Therapy Service for Anxiety and Depression;

Ø  Locality Specialist Community Team for young people with more complex difficulties;

Ø  Berkshire Adolescent Unit providing acute in-patient assessment and care.

·         The Committee was informed that the wait time for CPE for CAMHS was approximately 3 weeks.

·         Members were pleased to note that the CAMHS Urgent Response Pilot, which provided swift mental health assessments for young people presenting in crisis and short-term intensive community interventions to prevent crisis, had been extended for at least another year.

·         Karen Cridland outlined the early intervention work undertaken in partnership with the Council, schools and other organisations.

·         In response to a question regarding the availability of the Young SHaRON, Karen Cridland indicated that the ambition was for it to be available 5 days a week.

·         Councillor Dolinski queried whether the third sector had had an input into the development of Young SHaRON.  He was told that this was the case.

·         The Committee considered some of the challenges to the CAMHS. 

·         Whilst waiting times for the Autism Assessment Team had reduced from 2 years to approximately 39 weeks, this was still too high.  Councillor Jones asked what the Trust would like to see the waiting time reduce to.  Karen Cridland indicated that it would like to see a reduction to 12 weeks.

·         Members were reminded that the service for autism was purely diagnostic.

·         Councillor Blumenthal questioned how the number of inappropriate referrals made in Wokingham compared with other areas.  She was told that it was roughly comparable.

·         Councillor Jones went on to ask what the average waiting time was for the ADHD pathway and was informed that it was 10 weeks. 

·         Locating qualified staff to fill key roles was a national problem, particularly for short-term roles.

·         Members were notified that further coordination of the council offer at Tier 2 early intervention level would assist in reducing the number of referrals that would be better placed with these services.

·         The Committee considered the forthcoming opportunities for the CAMHS including having only one telephone number for the children and young people and families Health Hub. 

·         The Committee was updated on Tier 4 provision in response to a request from Councillor Haines.


RESOLVED: That the update on community mental health services be noted.

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