Outstanding Deaf Service

The Trust's specialist service for deaf children and young people has been given the highest possible rating of outstanding by the Care Quality Commission following an inspection in July 2016.

The Trust hosts the York-based Deaf Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS) for the north of England, with other bases in Manchester and Newcastle. It’s one of four centres across England offering a highly specialised mental health service for deaf children and young people. The team is made up of deaf and hearing staff, reflecting the bi-lingual and bi-cultural nature of the service, enabling it to meet the complex mental health needs of deaf children, young people and families regardless of their language and communication needs and preferences.

Inspectors were impressed by the range of therapies and treatments delivered by the service and praised team members for tailoring their work to meet the specific communication needs of families. They described staff as “passionate and enthusiastic” and noted that the feedback from young people and carers who used the service, and from partners who work with the team, was “universally positive”.

Young people told inspectors that the team understood them and helped them to make sense of their feelings and communicate them to others. They described the staff as “caring and fun” and said they were pleased to have workers from the specialist team.

Parents and carers spoke of staff as being calm at difficult times and commented on the team understanding the whole picture, by meeting them and their child, and by going into school. They were also confident that they knew what would happen throughout the team’s involvement, and credited them with opening up networks to help families connect to the deaf community in their local area.

Tim Richardson, Service Manager for Deaf CAMHS at Leeds and York Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, said: “We’re delighted we’ve been rated outstanding by the CQC. This is a result of effective team-working, a high level of professionalism and a genuine concern for the children and young people that we work with.

“Our service users can present with complex and occasionally challenging issues, but it is incredibly satisfying and a real pleasure to see the progress they make in our care.

“As the CQC inspectors recognised, each and every one of our staff are passionate and enthusiastic – everyone comes to work each day wanting to make a difference.

“But we know that we can continue to develop and improve our service and we are committed to keeping up the good work so that we remain an outstanding service.”

Read the Deaf CAMHS CQC report

More about Deaf CAMHS

The north of England Deaf Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service has centres in York, Manchester and Newcastle and works with deaf children and young people up to the age of 18. The service also works with the hearing children of deaf parents when appropriate.

Research has shown that deaf children are between 25 and 50% more likely to experience mental health issues than hearing children, and communication is a huge issue for deaf families.

The team has a strong multi-disciplinary model, ensuring that the mental health needs are considered in the context of the child and family’s experience as a deaf person in a hearing-orientated world. Working alongside experienced mental health professionals are deaf staff and interpreters. Each member of the team brings a unique perspective and skill set ensuring that families receive a holistic, effective, culturally appropriate service.

The team offer psychological therapies among their interventions, including adapted cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) to treat anxiety and depression, and emotional regulation work to enable young people to adapt or change their emotions to help them in stressful situations.

They create bespoke resources to support treatment and care, provide detail about the service with accompanying QR codes to enable access to information in British Sign Language, and offer pictorial representations and video letters where required.

Visit our Deaf CAMHS page