A team which helps children and adolescents to cope with mental health problems has been shortlisted for two Nursing Times Awards.
The Child and Adolescent Support and Help Enhanced Response (CASHER) team at Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust is shortlisted in the ‘Child and Adolescent Services’ and the ‘Nursing in Mental Health’ categories.
Now in its 27th year, the Nursing Times Awards event is one of the most respected and relevant awards ceremonies in the nursing and healthcare sector. The winners of the 2017 Nursing Times Awards will be announced at a ceremony on November 2 at the Grosvenor House Hotel in London.
The CASHER team is made up of staff from different Mental Health backgrounds who work outside of normal office hours including weekends and on Christmas Day. They work on the CASHER team in addition to their normal roles and see young people up to the age of 25.
John Stainton, Team Leader for the CASHER service, said: “It is great that the CASHER Team has been nominated for two categories in the Nursing Times Awards.
“It has given the team a fantastic morale boost and recognition for all the hard work that they put in, making such a difference to all the children and young people that they see whilst covering the ‘out of normal hours’ shifts.
“The fact is that whenever possible and when it’s safe to do so, the young people that we see, can be offered many alternatives, other than a hospital admission. This helps them to take control of their situation and we help put in place suitable services, such as the Youtherapy Counselling Service, to help them to move forward in a positive way.
“We see children and young people who have may have concerns with regards to their mental health or any issues they feel they need to discuss.
“We meet up with children and young people and discuss ways of helping them to move forward from the position that they feel they are in.
“This usually involves us completing an assessment to make sure that we don’t miss anything important and with the consent of the young people that we see, we will inform other people and organisations involved with their care, for example, GPs and schools.”
The CASHER team runs a drop in/follow up group from Talbot and Brunswick Children’s Centre on the first and third Tuesday of each month from 5pm to 7pm. The team is also plan on starting a Group in Fleetwood.
John said prior to the CASHER Team being set up in December 2015, there was no provision for children and young people who needed to be seen outside of normal office hours.
Before the CASHER team was set up, many under 16s who turned up at hospital were admitted to the Children’s Ward/Adolescent Ward to wait for the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service to see them within their normal office hours.
Since the CASHER Team started, John has found that in many cases the team is able to ensure that young people can return home with a plan of care in place. This helps to prevent unnecessary hospital admissions and John said this is usually a much better outcome for the young people.
John added: “The CASHER Team receives regular, positive feedback from people that we work with. This includes service users who we see and also our colleagues who know that we cover shifts each day and that they can refer to our team when needed.”
Jenni Middleton, editor of Nursing Times said: “The Nursing Times Awards gives us an opportunity each year to see outstanding quality improvement projects from nurses and the teams they work with.
“It never ceases to amaze me that at a time when we see the NHS and the healthcare provider space is so stretched that nurses continue to find the energy, passion and motivation to innovate for the benefit of their patients, service users and residents.
“Across the board in all clinical areas and care settings – from the community to hospitals to care homes and beyond, we see nurses challenging the status quo and working hard to provide better quality, safer care and a better experience for those who use their services.”
The CASHER team can be contacted by calling 07810 696565 within shifts hours which are Monday to Friday from 5pm to 10pm and Saturday/Sunday from 10am to 8pm and Bank Holidays from 10am to 6pm. If the team is not on duty, it can be accessed via the Emergency Department.