Burnley children's mental health support service rated 'outstanding'

The ELCAS team at Burnley General Hospital
The ELCAS team at Burnley General Hospital
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A service which provides mental health support for children and young people in Burnley has achieved an ‘Outstanding’ rating following a routine inspection by Care Quality Commission inspectors.

Highly positive feedback from patients and relatives, encouragement of innovation to improve patient care, and strong external work with partners were some of the reasons why the Burnley General Hospital-based East Lancashire Child and Adolescent Service earned its ‘Outstanding’ rating.

The CQC report also praised ELCAS for outstanding mental health practice with bi-lingual courses to meet the needs of the local community and a partnership with the University of Central Lancashire to offer a six-month placement for trainee GPs.

Kevin McGee, Trust chief executive, said: “It is great news to know that ELCAS is one of the very few mental health services in England to provide ’outstanding’ care for the children, young people and families that we serve.

“The bar for ‘outstanding’ is a high one and we couldn’t have achieved this positive outcome without the hard work and dedication of our ELCAS staff who work tirelessly to improve the lives of our patients.”

ELCAS provides a mental health service for young people up to their 16th birthday who may be experiencing a range of severe and complex difficulties with their mental health. ELCAS will accept referrals from schools or any health professional but most referrals come from GPs.

At a time when access to NHS mental health services is under increasing pressure, patients referred to ELCAS wait on average a little over three weeks to meet a mental health professional.

CQC inspectors also praised the ELCAS service for taking a leadership role to proactively address challenges and meet the needs of the population.

In addition, ELCAS is one of only seven services in the country to be accredited by the quality network for community child and adolescent mental health services.

Jo Weller, ELCAS Head of Service and Clinical Director, said the service was delighted to be rated ‘Outstanding’ following its very first CQC inspection.

“We’re absolutely delighted to have our team acknowledged nationally by the CQC’s independent experts,” said Jo.

“All our staff are committed to providing the highest standard of care to the young people and their families that we serve in the area.

“If a young person has concerns about their mental health, feels they are not coping, or if parents/carers have concerns, please make an appointment to see your GP first. Your GP will then advise if referral to ELCAS or another service is appropriate.

“It can feel really scary to admit that you do not feel OK but the important thing is that if you are worried you should talk to someone. This might be a teacher, parent or school counsellor.