Peer Support Workers – Cambridgeshire & Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust – HC – #MHAwards19

All community CAMHS across CPFT have introduced a new peer support worker (PSW) role to facilitate the transition of young people onward from services as they approach the end of their treatment. In Peterborough the PSW came into post in January 2018 and in south and central teams the workers came into post in August 2018. In the south team the post is held as a job share.

Highly Commended - #MHAwards19

Co-Production

  • From start: Yes
  • During process: Yes
  • In evaluation: Yes

Evaluation

  • Peer: No
  • Academic: No
  • PP Collaborative: Yes

Find out more

What We Did 

All community CAMHS across CPFT have introduced a new peer support worker (PSW) role to facilitate the transition of young people onward from services as they approach the end of their treatment. In Peterborough the PSW came into post in January 2018 and in south and central teams the workers came into post in August 2018. In the south team the post is held as a job share.

The peer support workers, across the whole CAMHS service have seen a total 78 young people, and 17 of those included direct work related to transferring from CAMH to AMH services. The number of young people transferring to AMH services from CAMH in Q1 and Q2 totaled 26 and for Q3-Q4 there are approximately 25 young people so far. The full compliment of PSW can only be considered from mid august 2018 and this would suggest that most of the young people transitioning in the second half of the year have been seen by a PSW. The context of the introduction of PSW into CAMHs services is important: this was the first time PSWs had been introduced in the directorate and effective integration into the teams has taken some time.. It has required awareness of the role of a PSW and a change in the culture of the established teams. The PSWs have worked closely with the identified young people and named transition clinician and increasingly with all members of the team to provide the following activities: • Awareness training for all team members relating to the role of the PSW • Observation of the various services and interventions provided by CAMH • Support of parents • Engagement in participation activities such as ‘Have Your Say Group’ • Transition from CAMH into primary care; within education (change of schools/college); into employment; into third sector services • Professional supervision, CPD and peer support from the recovery college • Supporting young people to access bereavement services • Accessing life skills groups and interventions through adult services • Transitioning out of home and into alternative living arrangements • Supporting young people to access the Recovery College Evaluation from the young people supported by PSWs has been very positive.

They have reported that the value of the PSW for them is to have someone who is not a clinician and has ‘lived experience’ to be alongside them during transition periods. For both young people and their families, working alongside a PSW can instil hope for the future and demonstrate that recovery is an achievable goal. Feedback from clinicians in both core mental health and neurodevelopmental CAMH services have also been positive. There has been a change in the culture within the teams and the PSWs are now well established and embedded within all three teams. The PSWs have become an integral part of our service delivery for children, young people and their families and for them to no longer be funded would have a detrimental impact on the service provision in the future.

 

Wider Active Support  

CPFT has now delivered 10 cohorts of training. Training is delivered through Recovery College East in Cambridge and Peterborough. This training has been accredited at Level 4 with the Open College Network (OCN) which was an essential collaboration to drive this project forward. As PSWs are new to the Children, Young People and Family (CYPF) directorate it has been crucial to work alongside other CPFT directorates and partner organisations to learn from their experiences, inform developments and in turn share our feedback and outcomes. Following successful graduation from the training, peer workers have been able to apply for posts within CPFT The posts are available in younger people’s services, adult services and older people’s services, both on our wards and in the community. Our vision was, and still is, to have peer workers in all service areas. Peer worker posts offer a range of vacancies that provide a few hours work up to full time work in Summary: – CPFT has successfully graduated 118 students from the training since 2010 – CPFT has offered employment to more than 60 of these graduates – CPFT was awarded “demonstration site” status with the Implementing Recovery through Organisational Change (ImROC) programme – CPFT has assisted many other organisations in their own peer worker developments

 

Co-Production 

Co-production has been an integral component of the introduction of PSWs within CPFT and CYPF directorate. The very nature of the peer support model is one of having the patient at the centre of service provision and developments: A peer worker is someone who has been there themselves and can help a person to focus on their own recovery. A peer worker will have experience of having significant mental health challenges themselves (usually by accessing secondary mental health services) and can use this personal experience to help others on their recovery journey, through promoting hope and providing support based on common experiences. Peer workers are recruited because of their lived experience and their passion to support individuals through their recovery journey.

A peer worker is: Someone with lived experience of mental health challenges Someone who is employed specifically as a result of their experience Someone who has the ability to share their recovery journey with others Someone who can motivate and encourage others The recovery movement introduced the concept of a peer worker. New(ish) to mental health, but not new to other health fields, the role of the peer worker is to increase hope and engagement by the power of “having been there”. Hope is central to the belief required for people who face significant mental health challenges and forms an important part in supporting people’s transition into recovery. The role inspires hope and optimism through: Empathy Mutuality Being equal and co-learners Both parties have something to give and learn from each other Not trying to fix or direct one another Partnering on action plans and collaborating on solutions Sometimes just listen, be with and bear witness Have mutual responsibility for the relationship Friendship; an intentional friendship

 

Looking Back/Challenges Faced 

Whilst the implementation of PSWs within CAMHS teams has largely been successful; as a result of learning from the experiences of other directorates within CPFT, one change that could be made would be to have had an established PSW within another directorate to visit CAMHS in order to discuss and consider the PSW role with established staff members prior to the introduction of this new role with CYPF directorate. Although initially there were challenges related to the introduction of a new role, each of the new PSWs established themselves well and delivered learning and information to their new colleagues. They have been wholly succesful in integrating their new roles into CAMHS teams, and it would be very difficult to imaging these teams without a PSW in place now!

 

Sustainability 

CPFT is committed to delivering PSW training to ensure new staff are trained and able to fill vacancies as previous PSWs develop their careers or move on from roles. CAMHS teams have now begun to commit substantive funding for PSW roles and additionally, recruitment process ensure that when a vacancy is advertised, that the recruiting manager considers a PSW role in place of any band 2-4 vacancies. The recovery college is well established and a number of staff are skilled in leading this project forward, should any of the leadership team move onwards.

 

Evaluation (Peer or Academic) 

Young people, families and staff alike provide feedback relation to their experience of working alongside CAMHS peer support workers. The overwhelming positivity of this feedback provides assurance that this project is making a difference for young people and their families. Whilst no formal evaluation has been completed specifically in relation to the implementation of the PSW in CAMHS teams, across the Trust, the Recovery College and the PSW training and role has been accredited at Level 4 with the Open College Network (OCN). CPFT has also been awarded “demonstration site” status with the Implementing Recovery through Organisational Change (ImROC) programme, as a result of the wider project.

 

Outcomes 

Transitions are an important and potentially difficult time for young people throughout their journey of treatment and recovery. Having PSWs work alongside young people during transition periods, either into adult mental health services, or third sector, educational or other support networks has had a significantly positive impact. Feedback suggests young people have improved experiences of transitions; they feel understood and listened to; they are less likely to get “lost” within the system; they have more choice regarding the next stage of their journey and feel more empowered with hope for the future.

 

Sharing 

A number of resources relating to PSWs can be found on the ww.cpft.nhs.uk website. Of particular note is a document titled “Road to Recovery: Our stories of hope” that can be found here: http://www.cpft.nhs.uk/PDF/Miscellaneous/Recovery%20Stories%20book%202018.pdf In addition to publishing information on the website, CPFT, The Recovery College and PSW’s contribute to shared learning and development via ImROC.

 

 

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