Aim The neurology and neurodisability grid trainees should have a child and adolescent psychiatry experience equivalent to three months full time during their grid programme. The aim of our survey was to gather information and analyse the child and adolescent psychiatry training experience by the current paediatric neurodisability trainees.
Method This was a questionnaire based survey which was sent out to the existing neurodisability grid trainees in the UK via email. Total 10 questions were asked related to the child and adolescent psychiatry training experience.
Results Out of total 26 trainees to whom the survey was sent out, 16 responded (61.5%). 60% were working as ST8. The neurodisability grid programme was of two years for 60% of the trainees. Most of them (73%) had already started their neuropsychiatry placement. Only 6% found easy but 26% thought that it was very difficult to access the training. 15% had to have a separate honorary contract with the child and family mental health (CAMHS) department. None was on a separate 3 month contract. In terms of satisfaction, one third seemed dissatisfied for various reasons and only 6% were very satisfied.
Some of the comments were- “CAMHS team members are reluctant to have the neurodisability trainee in the clinic unless it was a pre-school child with possible developmental problems”; “No learning disability CAMHS consultant in the service”; “CAMHS services were not sure of the competencies needed to be achieved”; “Difficult to get the placement and the service was quite stretched”; “Spent a lot of time chasing sessions”; “CAMHS consultants should be involved while submitting the grid posts to RCPCH”
Conclusion Child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS) are lacking in the expertise and resources required to provide comprehensive assessments and ongoing management for those with developmental disabilities. Our survey highlights the need for the CAMHS service to engage the neurology and neurodisability grid trainees by understanding the competencies they need to achieve in child and adolescent psychiatry. Equally, the respective CSACs could also work in partnership with the child mental health CSAC to design a smooth and well-structured programme for these trainees.
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