TWO NHS Ayrshire and Arran teams have bagged top awards at this year’s NHS Scotland Event in Aberdeen.

The awards ceremony, which was the first to be in-person since 2019, focused on pandemic recovery and innovation.

Thelma Bowers, head of mental health services, said: “We are delighted that these two teams were successful at this year’s NHS Scotland event. This is further evidence of the fantastic and forward-thinking teams we have in Ayrshire and Arran.

“Both teams have shown that, by working in partnership, we can improve our services for those living in Ayrshire. By focusing on mental health at such an early stage, we can give our children and young people the best start in life. Well done to both teams.”

The children and adolescent mental health service won the integrated award for their work to help autistic people access services, while the perinatal mental health and maternity and neonatal psychology services won the People’s Choice Award.

The children’s mental health service was praised for its collaboration with leisure services to help all young people learn new skills, increase social interaction, and get involved in after-school events.

Irvine Times:  The Children and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS) won the Integrated award The Children and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS) won the Integrated award

Kerry Allison, quality improvement advisor for the adolescent mental health service explained: “Previously in Ayrshire, children and young people waiting for an autistic spectrum disorder (ASD) diagnosis received little pre-diagnostic support.

“This programme has really helped to improve confidence, not only in the children and young people, but in their parents too. It was as much about the parents as the children, and the programme has really helped families feel connected to their community and support networks.”

The winners of the People’s Choice Award were also commended for their work to integrate services and meet the needs of parents during and after pregnancy.

Kerry Meridith, team leader for perinatal mental health services, said: “For those suffering mental illness, pregnancy can make the situation worse. And so it was important for us to ensure that when these women were at their most vulnerable, we could ensure they saw the right person at the right time.

“We held various awareness sessions for our staff, and feedback was very positive. We are now looking at expanding these sessions.”