Professional roles at Collingham

There are 16 nurses working on the unit. There are eight qualified mental health nurses, a qualified paediatric nurse and seven child workers. Each member of staff has experience of working with young people.

Nursing staff are on the unit 24 hours a day from 9:00 on Monday morning to 17:00 Friday afternoon. They are with the children 24 hours a day ensuring they are safe and able to talk about any worries or concerns.

Nursing staff may visit your home to see you and your child prior to admission. This is to get to know you and your family and to see how we can make Collingham feel a bit more like home. They will meet with you and your child each Monday to talk about how the weekend has gone, talking about what went well and any difficulties.

There are three doctors working on the unit including a consultant child & adolescent psychiatrist. All the doctors on the unit are able to look after both the physical and psychiatric needs of your child.

Doctors are involved in the admission process of your child to the unit. They will meet you to take a detailed medical history from yourselves and will liaise with other relevant medical professionals.

Doctors will perform a physical check on your child and will see your child if they are feeling unwell. The doctors will also order relevant investigations as necessary.

Doctors will discuss with you any plans for drug treatment and seek your consent. They will also talk with your child about any drug treatments. The doctors will monitor the effectiveness of any drug treatment.

The doctors may meet with your child individually to assess how they are feeling and thinking.

There are two senior family therapists working on the unit. Both family therapists are experienced in working with families, couples and individuals.

Family therapists meet weekly with families. They may be joined in the work by other colleagues.

Family therapists also act as case co-ordinators for a large proportion of the children and families on the unit. This means organising meetings and keeping an overview of the day to day management on your child as well as liaising with the community.

Family Therapists help run the weekly Parenting Group to which you will be invited during your child’s admission.

The clinical psychologist is involved with most children admitted to the unit. They may meet with your child individually to conduct specific assessments and to talk about difficulties that they may want help with. They will work together with the nurses to think about the best ways to respond to and manage behavioural difficulties. Psychologists may deliver individual therapy to your child and will meet with you from time to time to keep you updated on assessment results and the progress of any individual therapy.

Social workers are involved in helping parents and children in various ways. They case co-ordinate some children’s care on the unit. They help run the Monday parents group and Friday parent skills group. They attend family meetings with some families. They organise practical help with travel and benefits. They link up with local social services about help in the community.

Together with the service manager, Paul Byrne, the social workers have a lead responsibility for child protection. This means dealing with worries about children’s safety and wellbeing on the unit and at home. For example, they are involved when children or parents tell staff a child has been hurt or mistreated. They will then plan with staff and parents what we need to do about any worries.

The teachers and learning assistants at Collingham are part of the Chelsea Community Hospital School. They provide access to the full National Curriculum tailored to the needs of the individual pupils.

Teachers are available to meet with parents on Monday mornings and after 15:30 each day.

A speech and language therapist can assess and treat children with speech, language and communication problems to enable them to communicate and learn to the best of their ability. This may involve working directly with the child and supporting others such as schools and families.

The occupational therapist is able to provide assessments of children's motor co-ordination strengths and difficulties and provide advice about how to help children with any difficulties. They can also provide advice about how to help children build up daily living and independence skills.

The unit has a full time cook and full time cleaner. Both have worked on the unit for considerable lengths of time and make a vital contribution to the running of the unit and the quality of care we provide.