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Wednesday, 24 September 2014

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Cumbria child mental health services shake-up underway

A planned overhaul of children’s mental health services in Cumbria is underway.

New appointments have been made after a damning review last year called the county’s Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS) both “outdated” and “inadequate”.

The shock report, exclusively revealed in the News & Star, was commissioned by NHS Cumbria Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and the Cumbria Partnership NHS Foundation Trust.

It claimed the team – which supports children and young adults with issues including eating disorders, depression, attention deficit disorder and autism – is drastically understaffed and dysfunctional.

The partnership has since worked hard to address the concerns, and yesterday announced it had successfully recruited to four new clinical CAMHS roles.

Dr Wendy Rankin will take up her post as a clinical director of children’s services in March, and will also be a consultant in community paediatrics for the trust.

Dr Dinesh Khanna and Dr Roger Williams have both been appointed as CAMHS consultant psychiatrists, starting in February and on April 1, respectively. The final appointment is that of Zoe Leneghan, who has already joined the trust as pathway lead for mental health and wellbeing.

Dr Chris Hallewell, medical director for the partnership trust, said: “We are very pleased to have secured four very capable and experienced senior people of this calibre to work in Cumbria.

“Their appointments are part of a wider plan to improve children’s health services, particularly our Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service in the coming months.”

He added: “Together with our existing highly skilled staff, these new appointments will work to meet the needs of children and families and are a really welcome addition to our services.”

As part of the trust’s improvement plan, two more positions are currently being advertised: a full-time consultant in community paediatrics; and a full-time consultant CAMHS psychiatrist with clinical director responsibility.

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