Children's Commissioner visit

Thursday, 18 October 2012

The Children’s Commissioner for England visited one of North Bristol NHS Trust’s children’s community health services today.

Dr Maggie Atkinson visited the Eastgate clinic to find out more about the unique partnership between the Community Children’s Health Partnership (CCHP) and Barnardo’s.

In February Barnardo’s Chief Executive, Anne-Marie Carrie, toured some of the CCHP services and who was so impressed that she suggested Dr Atkinson made a visit to gain an insight into how the partnership between the NHS and the charity worked.

Former CCHP service users Felicity Hathway and Pete White with Children's Commissioner Dr Maggie Atkinson North Bristol NHS Trust, with Barnardo’s as partners, provides all of the community child health and child and adolescent mental health services for Bristol and South Gloucestershire. The service is called the Community Children’s Health Partnership (CCHP).

Dr Atkinson today met with young people who help deliver ‘Mind Out’ training to professionals to share their experiences around helping young people with mental health needs. The role of the Children's Commissioner for England is to promote and represent the views and rights of children and young people.

Dr Atkinson said: "During my visit to Bristol it was a pleaseure to meet two young people who calmly and bravely told their stories of needing support from mental health services.

"The team working at and driving change through the Community Children's Health Partnership should be proud of what they have achieved in breaking through old ways of thinking to bring services together.

"They are placing the patients they serve at the heart of their work and striving to do ever better for them.

"The young people I met both shared with me their deeply impressive journeys towards better emotional health and they are living proof that professionals working flexibly, listening to what patients know about their needs, and acting positively on that listening, can pay great dividends. You just have to be brave!"

Children’s Services Manager for Barnardo’s Emily Roberts and CCHP Clinical Director Kevin Hewitt also held a presentation on the model for partnership and highlighted some of the successes achieved in the past three years.

Kevin Hewitt said: “We are really delighted to have Dr Atkinson here to see what we do and how our unique and successful partnership with Barnardo’s works to deliver community health services to children in Bristol and South Gloucestershire.

“Dr Atkinson’s role is to give a voice to children and we are proud to say that this is at the heart of CCHP services – underlining the importance of children’s views and experiences.”