Inspectors praise support for children in Portsmouth who need mental health support

Organisations across Portsmouth have been praised for their support for children who need mental health support as well as those suffering from abuse, neglect and exploitation. In December 2019, Ofsted, the Care Quality Commission (CQC), HMI Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services (HMICFRS) and HMI Probation (HMI Prob) carried out a Joint Targeted Area Inspection (JTAI) of the agencies involved in providing support to children in Portsmouth.

Schools, the NHS, the police, the council and voluntary organisations are particularly commended for working closely together in a strong partnership, for their learning culture and for their innovation and creativity, helping to ensure that children in Portsmouth are receiving the emotional well-being and mental health services they need. The quality and flexibility of the specialist mental health service, Children and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS), is highlighted, as is the effective response to children presenting to the A&E department at the QA Hospital. Hampshire Police were commended for their commitment and understanding of children’s needs and for responding in an appropriate way. It was noted that public resources were being used efficiently through good joint commissioning of services.

Derek Benson, chair of Portsmouth Children’s Safeguarding Partnership, said: “Overall we are very pleased with the outcome of the recent inspection of the effectiveness of the city’s approach to children who need mental health support. The report praises the support provided to children from a strong partnership across schools, the NHS, the police, the council and the voluntary sector. This is a testament to the way different organisations supporting children and young people in Portsmouth, including our strong local CAMHS service, work together to make a difference every day. The inspection highlighted areas where we need to improve and we know we must n never be complacent. We will continue to work closely with children and their families to improve services further to ensure they get the support they need.”

The report identifies ways in which services could be further improved, including a consistent focus during planning and assessment of services on how they impact on children at the point of delivery.

The full report can be found here.