Sarah-Jane Marsh, our Chief Executive, visited our Mental Health Services Parkview Clinic to speak to colleagues and young people in Urgent Care and inpatient Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) about their experience of an extremely busy and challenging year.
During her visit, Sarah-Jane met with colleagues in the Urgent Care team to understand more about their caseloads, changes and challenges from COVID-19 as well as the benefits of new IT equipment and the difference it has made to agile working.
She also spoke to long-standing agency staff who are now substantive team members, and was able to hear their individual experiences on how working in the team is like a ‘family environment’ which has kept them coming back.
For the remainder of the tour, Sarah-Jane visited all inpatient wards - Ashfield, Heathlands and Irwin - speaking to colleagues and young people. On the newly-renovated single dorm Ashfield Unit, the young people proudly showed off their whiteboards in their rooms where they ‘doodle’. Two of the young people had also recently written and recorded songs at the onsite school ‘The Willows’, which were later shared with Sarah-Jane.
Sarah-Jane Marsh said: “The past year for our Mental Health Services has been busier than ever. We have seen a 75% increase in young people needing support and I couldn’t praise our teams more for their bravery and compassion.
“It truly makes my heart sing to hear from our staff who have been on agency contracts for many years, now joining us as substantive team members. It was magical to witness the rapport between our teams and young people and the songs they had written were truly beautiful.”
Joanne Hodgetts, Service Manager for Inpatient CAMHS and Forward Thinking Birmingham Urgent Care, added: “We have seen more children and young people with higher levels of acuity and have had the additional challenge of staff sickness due to COVID-19. Two out of our three wards have been stretched more than ever as we have taken on more patients outside our usual clinical pathways such as a recent young person with learning disabilities, however we can proudly say we have worked closely with our community teams to make the best situation for them.”