Trust wins contract to improve the quality of care for young people with autism in inpatient mental health facilities

16/02/2021

Children and young people with autism who receive care as hospital inpatients will soon benefit from training delivered by South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust.

Maudsley Learning and the Trust’s specialist complex autism and neurodevelopment teams have secured £430,000 from Health Education England to deliver high-quality training for inpatient staff across England.

Recent national reviews by the Care Quality Commission, NHS England and the CAMHS Quality Taskforce have identified significant issues around the quality of care received by children and young people in inpatient mental health facilities. The reviews highlight the need to equip staff in such facilities with the knowledge, skills and confidence to work with children and young people with complex needs.

The programme will use the ‘train the trainer’ model to ensure the widest possible impact across the country. Three senior health professionals from each inpatient service being equipped with the knowledge to train their colleagues and become champions for children and young people with autism and complex additional needs in their workplaces. They will develop the skills, knowledge and confidence to work with these young people and will also be equipped to deliver training to all staff in their service.

Young people and parents with experience of autism and inpatient care have helped shape the training content. The course will be co-facilitated by these experts by experience, ensuring their voice is heard at every stage of the training.

The programme will kick off in April and run through to early next year. For more details on the training course please see here.

Dr Bruce Clark, clinical director for the Trust’s child and adolescent mental health services, said: “This contract demonstrates the unique pool of clinical and academic expertise in autism and inpatient care at SLaM and our partners at the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience (IoPPN), King’s College London. The Trust’s award-winning Maudsley Learning team is working closely with our clinical academics to deliver this project and deliver high-quality workforce development and training programmes.

“This is the sort of initiative that we will increasingly see as we move to the Pears Maudsley Centre for Children and Young People, a world-leading treatment and research facility that will help prevent mental ill-health in children and young people and provide effective early intervention and treatment for those that do develop mental health problems. A key element in the centre’s work will be continuing the outstanding research IoPPN colleagues already undertake to improve our understanding of autism and neurodevelopmental disorders.”.

The training will be delivered by staff from Maudsley Learning and CAMHS colleagues from the Trust’s national and specialist service for complex autism and associated neurodevelopmental disorders (SCAAND) and, CAMHS inpatient units.