Child & Adolescent Mental Health Services - CAMHS

 St Andrew’s Healthcare provides low and medium secure Tier 4 CAMHS inpatient services, with the objective of enabling young people to live well and to their full potential in the least restrictive environment possible.

We offer specialist care for young people with learning disability (LD) and/or autistic spectrum disorder (ASD), caring for the full range of co-morbid mental health problems and accompanying challenging behaviours.

Our primary aim is to help to prepare young people with LD to live and learn in the least restrictive setting. 

Fern: Admission criteria

Girls aged 13 - 18 on admission who:

  • have a diagnosis of learning disability and may have an autistic spectrum disorder or other co-morbid conditions
  • have mental health problems
  • have a history of developmental trauma
  • pose a significant risk of harming themselves or others
  • require care within a low secure environment.

Fern: Girls, Low Secure Mental Health Ward

Starting on admission each young person has a comprehensive assessment informing diagnosis and care planning.

Treatment is formulation-led, describing and explaining the young person’s difficulties as well as their key strengths. This allows for the development of holistic intervention plans covering:

  • safety and commencing specialist assessments
  • treatment engagement and basic coping
  • strategies (e.g. developing emotional literacy)
  • stabilisation treatments (e.g. CBT and sensory strategies to regulate emotion)
  • specialist treatments (e.g. use of adapted DBT and managing anxiety)
  • maintenance and relapse prevention.

There is an MDT therapeutic timetable that runs alongside the education curriculum. This includes group and individual sessions. Personalisation is core to the programme considering the young person’s interests, preferences, level of functioning and needs. Therapy may include:

  • daily living skills (personal care, laundry, room tidy, kitchen skills, baking, social skills)
  • community skills (road safety, shopping, budgeting, money management, orientation, bus skills, train skills, confidence building, social interactions)
  • sensory integration including a Dyspraxia clinic
  • vocational skills (animal care, horticulture, work placements, Duke of Edinburgh, volunteering within the local community)
  • leisure skills (music, relaxation, project group, arts and crafts).

Next steps

Discharge is considered at admission and our clinical and social work teams work with appropriate case managers to support a transition.

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