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CAMHS Conference a great success

On Friday 6th December Cygnet Hospital Godden Green hosted their first CAMHS conference, “Innovation: The Key to Recovery.” Over 50 delegates attended the CPD certified event at the Spa Hotel, Royal Tunbridge Wells, representing CAMHS and mental health services nationwide.
Delegates at our CAMHS Conference
Delegates at our CAMHS Conference.

Dr Chrisvan Koen, Consultant Psychiatrist at Cygnet Hospital Godden Green chaired the conference, welcoming Stephanie Haywood, Jo Scott, Sonja Jenkins, Daniel Smyth, Dr Dan McQueen and Dr Paula Conway to present on different innovations and practical ideas to reduce the length of stay in inpatient beds.

The morning started with a talk on the exciting new service “Platform 3 ¾’s” due to be launched with the Knole Development Centre at Godden Green by Stephanie Haywood, Hospital Manager. Highlighting the need for a service which sits between Tier 3 and 4 CAMHS to ease bed numbers on the inpatient service and provide extra support to the community/outpatient service with a provision for 10 day placements within the Development Centre.

This was followed by Dr Dan McQueen, Adult Consultant Psychiatrist in Eating Disorders at Cygnet Hospital Ealing and as a Consultant Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist at the Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust who presented on “Weight trajectory after inpatient weight restoration in adolescents with anorexia nervosa”.

Conference Chair Dr Chrisvan Koen
Conference Chair Dr Chrisvan Koen.

Jo Scott, Assistant COO of Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust presented on “Right from the Start” a CAMHS strategy aiming to increase flexible support to children and young people including help at home, providing more crisis care and reducing the number of admissions to hospital. We then continued with Sonja Jenkins the family therapist on Knole Ward who highlighted the bigger picture of challenges and issues that develop within the family through her light hearted but very informative presentation titled “Families & how to survive them”.

After lunch the afternoon started with a talk from the Chairperson Dr Chrisvan Koen on the Therapeutic Community setup in Ashford in Kent with the NHS which he was a huge part of both in planning and running since its launch in September 2012.

Presentation of artwork and written pieces by some of the service users on Knole Ward
Presentation of artwork and written pieces by some of the service users on Knole Ward.

The day drew to a close with two final presentations. The first was from another local community project for young people titled Grow2Grow. This was presented by the founder Dr Paula Conway, also a trained Clinical Psychologist. This session discussed the benefit of agriculture as a therapeutic intervention for adolescents in the community, creating opportunities through support, education and social experience.

Finally we ended the day with two powerful and thought provoking accounts from service users on Knole Ward of their experiences through CAMHS highlighting the highs and lows, the good and the bad. One attendee commented that they were “touched by their stories!”

We would like to thank all the speakers for their involvement in the day and to all delegates who attended!

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