The young people involved in developing our services, identified that our Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS) webpages needed to be updated and improved. They came up with ideas for some exciting new features that would be helpful for them and for other children and young people. They wanted to include: • A jargon buster to help them understand what all the technical words used by professionals mean. • A Who’s Who to explain the different roles they may encounter during their care. • Innovative Pod walks filmed by young people, for young people.
What We Did
The young people involved in developing our services, identified that our Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS) webpages needed to be updated and improved. They came up with ideas for some exciting new features that would be helpful for them and for other children and young people. They wanted to include: • A jargon buster to help them understand what all the technical words used by professionals mean. • A Who’s Who to explain the different roles they may encounter during their care. • Innovative Pod walks filmed by young people, for young people. They filmed as they walked around our different CAMHS buildings including outside spaces, reception and waiting areas and some of the appointment rooms etc. The idea of POD walks came from feedback that many service users experience a great deal of anxiety about coming to CAMHS because they don’t know what to expect. The aim of the POD walks is to help to put people more at ease. As they walk around, the young people filming talk about concerns that might be bothering the young person or their parent or carer, such as where to park, what the rooms look like, what to bring with them, how to sign in and where to find toilets and lifts for disabled access etc. We implemented all these ideas and launched our new CAMHS website in December 2018. This project was extremely important because for a lot of young people and their parents and carers, the first thing they do when they are struggling with their mental health is to go on the internet and try to find support and guidance. Our webpages include a Self-Help page and a Contact List for support in the area and online, for those not yet using services. It also has a page to help professionals working with young people, such as teachers or activity group leaders to help them to understand more about mental health and find out how to help the young people they work with. Finally it gives those who have found out that they are coming to Hertfordshire Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust (HPFT CAMHS) a warm and positive welcome, easing them into knowing what to expect from our service and helping them to feel more comfortable and less anxious.
Wider Active Support
During this project we worked alongside other organisations including Carers in Hertfordshire, who run a support group for parents and carers of young people who are using CAMHS. They are featured on our parent and carer pages and they promote the website in their groups with parents that join. We also liaise with the CAMHS Schools Link Manager at East and North Herts Clinical Commissioning Group to ensure that awareness of the website is consistent throughout schools in Hertfordshire and that it is accessible to those who may benefit from it.
This project was a true example of co-production. Our young service users identified the need for an updated website for the CAMHS service and came up with the ideas for the important features to be included. Our Young Service Users Council and Forest House Council meet on a monthly basis about how to keep improving the CAMHS service. Our service users and their parents/carers populated the Jargon Buster by giving us a list of words they didn’t understand. We then took these words and found definitions for them before handing them back to the young people, who simplified them, making them easier to understand. The same process happened for our Who’s Who page. The Frequently Asked Questions page again came from a group of young people explaining what questions they had, when they first came to the service and even before that point. The young people told us that real photographs were essential, in both preparing the young person to come to the service as well as making the website ‘feel genuine’. Previously stock images had been used throughout and were often stereotypical in terms of mental health which is often laced with stigma. The young people and our staff came together to run a photo project day. We visited different sites and took a variety of photos which have now been used throughout. Our Pod walks were the outcome of a co-produced bid to our Innovation Fund. Young people actively filmed the services, from the perspective of a young person who has previously used our services; aiming to put others, who are new to our services, feel more at ease. This is particularly important for those who may be on the spectrum and do not like change or like to feel prepared. It is important to mention that there was also a lot of co-production that happened with parents and carers to help populate and design their area within the website. This was done in collaboration with Carers in Hertfordshire and parents and carers within the service.
Looking Back/Challenges Faced
When we began this project, there were no clear roles allocated as to who would be inputting all the information that had been gathered into the website system and this was a mammoth task. A huge amount of pre-work went into the project, including researching young people’s views, co-designing and co-producing parts of the website, but it took a long time to see this come alive on the pages. The reason for this is that inputting all of this information was a massive task that required a significant amount of time and resources which hadn’t been planned for as part of the project. There were also delays in our young people receiving logins and website training, which needed to be carried out by staff. To prevent further delays, the Young Person’s Participation Lead took on the role of creating the new pages, instead of the communications team. This worked well as she had been directly involved in the participation work, which made it easier to interpret the pre-work correctly for the website. Had we anticipated these challenges, we would have planned for the young people to receive their log in’s and complete their training during the pre-work period in an ‘internet café’ style session. Young people could have then also been involved in the inputting of the information which would have allowed the engagement work to follow through the entire project, as well as making it a much quicker task, with more hands on deck.
Keeping the website, fresh and interesting is an ongoing project, in that we will continue to update it and keep it relevant and useful for young people, who are coming to use our services. By doing this it should never reach a point where it needs a complete overhaul. It will stay as an agenda item at our council meetings to review it every 3 months, and check whether any items need to be added or changed to ensure it continues to meet the needs of our young people. Keeping the website up to date is a task that has now been embedded into the job description of the Young Person’s Participation Lead. A guidance/training pack is has also been produced for anyone who may come into the role in the future. Additionally there are a number of other Trust staff who have access to make changes to the website if required. There are plans to train a young person to be Website Ambassador, so they can take a lead on keeping the website updated, alongside our staff.
Evaluation (Peer or Academic)
We held a launch event for the website in December, where some of the young people involved in the development of the website, introduced the site and its new features. They included some feedback about why these features were important for them and how they envisage them benefiting other young people and their families. We co-produced a survey with young people, parents and carers and staff to measure the effectiveness of the new website. We have made this survey live on the page, inviting people to give us feedback. We are also distributing this survey to young people and parents and carers that use our services, via our staff, to collect feedback from people about it.
Since its launch in mid-December 2018 until February 2019 the website has been visited by almost 1600 users. We have received lots of informal positive qualitative feedback about the website including how helpful it is, how young person friendly it is and the quality of information we have available on there. We only recently launched our website and the evaluation survey so unfortunately we have no data to report as this point, but we hope as it becomes more established we will be tracking all the outcomes of this project.
We are liaising with other participation leads in other Trusts to share good practice and examples of co-production via email and at meetings. This includes an East of England meeting, which focuses on the CYP-IAPT principles. Additionally we use twitter and other social media channels to raise awareness of the new website and other projects we are working on with our young people and their families.
Is there any other information you would like to add?
Please go on and have a look at the website at: www.hpftcamhs.nhs.uk Specific links: • Jargon Buster: https://www.hpftcamhs.nhs.uk/making-sense-of-camhs/camhs-jargon-buster-what-do-they-mean/ • Who’s Who: https://www.hpftcamhs.nhs.uk/making-sense-of-camhs/whos-who-in-camhs/ • POD Walks: https://www.youtube.com/embed/njWEhlXk1LU • Self-Help: https://www.hpftcamhs.nhs.uk/young-people/looking-after-your-own-mental-health/ • Contact List: https://www.hpftcamhs.nhs.uk/get-help-now/ • Guidance for professionals: https://www.hpftcamhs.nhs.uk/professionals/ • What to expect: https://www.hpftcamhs.nhs.uk/children/coming-to-camhs-what-to-expect/ • Frequently Asked Questions: https://www.hpftcamhs.nhs.uk/young-people/young-peoples-questions/ • Survey for feedback on the website: https://secure.membra.co.uk/ExperienceHPFT/s/SurveyIntro.aspx?ID=db062ba7-57fd-404b-9a6b190301102139
Can you please tell us who your service is commissioned by and provided by?
East and North Herts Clinical Commissioning Group and Herts Valleys Clinical Commissioning Group