New Forest Care (NFC) have a multi-disciplinary therapy team including a consultant child & adolescent psychiatrist, registered mental health nurse and an occupational therapist. NFC offer ongoing monitoring efficacy of treatment – when K is admitted a referral will be made to CAMHS and in the interim their psychiatrist will, in conjunction with the mental health manager, provide psychiatric oversight and monitor current medication. Access to the mental health team is available 24 hours a day via the on call system within New Forest Care.
The staff at MF are experienced and suitably qualified with the manager reporting that staff morale is much improved. There are usually three on duty with one waking and one sleep-in staff and all staff met national minimum standards with respect to staff having achieved, or currently undertaking, the level three diploma in childcare. Staff are trained in team teach which seeks to defuse or deescalate challenging behaviours rather than relying on physical intervention- since November 2018 there have been only five instances of interventions.
NFC has three school sites- all are within a 20-minute drive of MF and all were visited as part of this quality assurance visit. Classrooms seen provide modern facilities where pupils follow the national curriculum and can take a range of GCSE’s or B.Tech as well as AQA’s. School rooms had white boards while the music rooms had a drum kit, 12 track mixing desk, Apple Mac, microphone and five guitars.
Class sizes are small comprising three or four young people and are based on age not ability. All school sites have outdoor space including a five-a-side football court, climbing wall as well as free access to local gyms. A positive rewards policy means that young people will earn at least one weekend activity and in reality more are achieved with a wide range of activities including sailing, bowling, cinema all being on offer.
Education and care staff provide daily verbal handovers to each other so as to ensure consistency of care. Where additional staffing levels are needed these can be provided by the care staff to promote consistency of care while one to one is offered for brief periods in rooms so that there are no internal or external exclusions as is consistent with the organisations’ non-exclusion policy.
• No agency staff used by new forest care. Stable staff team known to all young people now in place. Staff shortages covered by staffing known to all young people. Both young people allocated new key workers”