25 June 2024

Working together across directorates to improve outcomes for young people

Our project team across Bedfordshire Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) and Bedfordshire Talking Therapies have been running a QI project since October 2023, focused upon improving recovery rates for young people.  

There are a few different reasons as to why this project started. Within Talking Therapies, we regularly examine our data. One of the things we became concerned about was the gap in recovery rates between young adults (16-21) at 35% recovery and adults (22+) at 52% recovery. We were aware of conversations around the country about the challenges of the transition period for young people, so this became a key area of improvement for this project. We decided to address this by bringing together colleagues from Beds (CAMHS) and Beds Talking Therapies to develop change ideas to test. 

The team consists of project leads, with previous experience of working with young people, those with service user experience, as well as other members of CAMHS and Talking Therapies. It was helpful that some of us knew each other already, having worked together previously. 

In our early conversations, we found that CAMHS saw a lot of young people aged between 16-18 presenting with social anxiety. In order to start developing an improved transition arrangement, we ran a test of an adapted social anxiety group for young people within Talking Therapies. Our first test started small, with 4 young people turned up to the first session. The same young people turning up to the remaining sessions following this. We measured recovery rates and service user feedback.  

We achieved a 50% recovery rate for this group. We received great feedback from this test including:

We are planning to run a further test as soon as possible. This time we will test with a higher number of people on the group, to find out whether we can get the same recovery rates.  

As well as the social anxiety groups, we are developing a leaflet to communicate the transition process for young people.  We are also looking into developing training for staff for working with young people, to ensure that treatment is individualised and age-appropriate.  

Overall, we have got off to a great start and look forward to further improving the transition pathway for young people.  

James, Julie, Jessica, Kira, Ocean-Tae, Claire and Yemi (QI coach) 

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