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1946 Founding of the southwest paediatric mental health network and inaugural meeting
  1. Alexandra Childs,
  2. James Dearden
  1. Torbay and South Devon Foundation Hospital Trust



  • To improve inter-Trust working to facilitate collaborative guidelines and resources by formulating a multi—disciplinary Paediatric mental health regional network

  • To establish a multi-disciplinary working group with representation from all hospitals across the SW Peninsula with two main objectives:

    • to improve collaboration and sharing of guidelines, protocols and educational resources

    • to support the staff with the increasing prevalence and pressures within Paediatric mental health by providing a regional support network and introducing specialist healthcare workers across the region.

Methods Collaboration between a Paediatric trainee with specialist interest in adolescent health and mental health lead for a DGH in the South-West to formulate network. Initial contact of relevant and interested individuals via social media and email, with encouragement of members to invite professionals from all disciplines with an interest in Paediatric mental health and eating disorders. Once core group established, planning and organisation of inaugural network meeting, with main focus of day to be service development and resource sharing as opposed to primarily educational.

Results Multi-disciplinary regional network formulated with over 30 professionals with interest in Paediatric mental health. Increased sharing of resources, educational opportunities and information sources for both professionals and patients. Very successful inaugural face to face meeting took place in Brickhouse Vineyard, Devon with 40 multi-disciplinary professionals attending in person and an additional 45 virtually over the day. Wide mix of professionals including dieticians, psychiatrists, Paediatric clinicians, nursing staff and psychologists. Introduction to the day by interview with service users to ensure the CYP voice is at the centre of our work.

Successful inaugural meeting with; talks from key-note speakers (current state of Paediatric mental health nationally from the RCPCH mental health lead and Trauma informed care by Dr Laura Wood), resources and service development presentations, and hot-topic discussions facilitated by expert panel. 91.3% of the attendees rated the day 5/5 with the remainder giving 4/5. Themes within the qualitative feedback included:

Amazing people, inspiring talks. Fantastic to have children talk of their experiences.’

‘Dedicated time to come together to discuss current pressures.’

‘The variety of health care professionals and the enthusiasm was so refreshing.’

‘Getting practitioners together from different hospitals to share work and ideas and support each other.’

‘Just sharing the load

‘Feeling like we have a team around us that are all interested in mental health.’


  • Successful generation of a working group with multi-disciplinary and Trust representation across the Southwest. Successful inaugural meeting with plan to be become annual, with generation of sub-group with particular interest in eating-disorders in children and young people. Currently bidding for funding for increased clinician and administrative time to support the facilitation of the network and to improve on-line based resource sharing and learning resources.

  • Collaborative efforts have resulted in a successful applications in two Devon hospital sites for funding to make the Paediatric ward a more secure and welcoming place for adolescents in physical and mental distress.

  • We have been approached by HEE SW, NHSEI CYP Transformation and CYP MH to extend network out to the HEE South West footprint.

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