Information for Schools
Ward Three is part of the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS) and is a 10 bedded ward providing care for young people aged 13 – 18 years. The average stay is 5 weeks. Most young people are voluntary patients. It is not a secure unit; and planned leave, whether in the locality or at home, is encouraged as soon as possible. Young people are admitted to Ward Three either in a state of crisis, or when their circumstances and presentation becomes complex and an assessment is needed.
Education on the Ward is provided by the Children’s Hospital School. The education staff aim to marry academic and therapeutic progress by working closely with the clinical team.
We aim to liaise with schools as often as possible, and we aim to meet with parents/carers on a weekly basis in the Ward Rounds. We only contact schools/colleges with parental permission. We encourage schools/colleges to keep in touch with their student’s parents/carers and keep them in the loop re parents’ evenings, letters etc. Schools/colleges are welcome to visit their student by prior arrangement.
Currently, we offer up to 15 hours of education/contact time a week. The rest of the time is spent in therapeutic sessions or individual meetings. Homework is only set if the young person is considered well enough to cope with it.
Education is available to students as soon as they are well enough. We may start with alternative curriculum work, but we aim to move on to academic work as soon as possible and for this reason we appreciate the schools/colleges setting and sending work as soon as they can. It is better to send it for the attention of Lorriane Biddle, rather than the student or parents/carers directly, as at times the pressure this brings can be counter-productive. We are also able to offer short, certificated courses, via Learn Direct for example. In addition, in order for us to offer the best support necessary, we need an idea of levels of functioning and details of any forthcoming exams or imminent academic deadlines as soon as possible.
Towards the end of a young person’s stay, we discuss reintegration with all concerned. Schools are sent a generic risk management form on admission. We would endeavour to provide more detail on discharge, but this is not always feasible.
Progress and clinical decisions are reviewed on a formal basis at weekly meetings with parents/carers and the young person. Other agencies such as Educational Psychology and Social Services are sometimes invited. In addition, in preparation for discharge, a CPA (Care Programme Approach) meeting is held. This is aimed at making sure all involved are aware of the plans and agencies involved. It is helpful if schools can attend these.
After discharge, if appropriate, we send questionnaires to schools/colleges, parents/carers and the young person themselves asking for feedback on the work we have done.
We are delighted with the feedback from our most recent Ofsted inspection:
'Students receive an outstanding education and make excellent progress. Leaders have a precise understanding of the needs of each student. All learning is personalised to provide individual programmes which support students to regain confidence and self-belief as they overcome their health issues and engage in their studies'
Ofsted Inspection report: The Children's Hospital School, June 2017