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BaNES Child & Adolescent Mental Health Service Pressures - BSW System Briefing

Below is an important BaNES, Swindon & Wiltshire system briefing on the BaNES Getting Help Team service pressures.

  1. Current Pressures

The Bath and North East Somerset Getting Help Team (Child & Adolescent Mental Health Service) is currently experiencing considerable service pressure. This is due to vacancies in a small team (over 45% - 10 Whole Time Equivalents) and increasing complexity (20% increase in Eating Disorder referrals, 10% increase in liaison and 10% increase in urgent and emergency referrals compared to last year).

  1. Recovery Plan

A service recovery plan will be in place, forecast to last approximately 3 – 6 months. The focus will be on re-building capacity and addressing the backlog. Actions include:

  • Trying to recruit temporary staff (including bank staff and agency)

  • Offering additional hours to existing staff / former employees

  • An enhanced focus on recruitment to substantive posts, including recruitment fairs and flexible job creation

  • Temporarily ceasing school consultation to secondary schools (x 2 hours per month). Schools have been briefed about this change, provided with supplementary resources and there is no change in support provided to them from the Mental Health Support Teams.

  • We will continue to deliver x 2 liaison staff per day (compliant with contractual requirements), but broader Multi-Disciplinary Team in-reach will not be routinely possible. We will mitigate this by offering virtual Multi-Disciplinary Team consultation on a case by case basis.

  • Infant Mental Health Cases being supported by the In-Reach team, who have more capacity to take on this caseload.

  1. Risk management

  • A harm minimisation plan is in place to ensure clinical safety. All cases will be risk stratified and all rated ‘green’ will be contacted to alert them that they will be waiting longer than usual. All red and amber cases will be seen within the usual response times (same day or within 5 days).

  • Clear information will be provided about how to contact us to alert us of a change in need.

  • All green waiters will also be provided with advice and guidance, signposting and self-care information.

  1. Key messages for schools

  • Close partnership working with the Bath and North East Somerset, Swindon and Wiltshire Partnership to develop and continually review the impact of these actions.

  • We are continuing to accept referrals in Bath and North East Somerset. If you have a concern about a child or young person, please contact us as usual.

  • The Bath and North East Somerset Mental Health Support Teams are operating as normal.

  • Children and young people with urgent and emergency mental health needs will continue to be seen promptly in line with our usual practice.

  • We will continue to prioritise early intervention for children and young people presenting with eating disorders.

  • Waits will be longer than usual for low-risk children and young people.

  • It would be helpful to work with schools to look at how we can jointly meet the needs of children and young people with low levels of need during this period.

There are useful self-help resources on the Oxford Health NHS website, which can be found here: Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service My wellbeing | Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (

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