Health professionals from Sweden visited children’s mental health services in Bury to see what they can learn from how the NHS works.

Pennine Care NHS Foundation Trust’s child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS) based at Fairfield Hospital welcomed 13 leaders and child and youth psychiatrists from different health care regions across Sweden.

They were toured around the facilities by some of the young people supported by the services. These included the eating disorder teams, inpatient wards (where young people are admitted to a ward), the inpatient unit’s school and community mental health in school teams.

Martin Rödholm, senior advisor at the Swedish Association for Local Authorities and Regions, said of his team’s experience in Bury:

“We were served a really engaging tour and a Q&A on how to meet the children and young people’s needs for mental health. All of us were impressed by many things, particularly the Hope and Horizon inpatient units, crisis services, the school and the relaxing rooms and outdoor areas.

“We were curious to see how mental health support teams and how they send their staff into schools to help young people, as that is something we don’t have. Being able to support young people in a more familiar and comfortable setting such as school is actually quite innovative and unique to Greater Manchester.

“There were few interesting differences, for example here there is a comparatively long length of stay in an inpatient unit, and in Sweden we also admit a parent to the unit as well as they young person which isn’t done in England. 

“We thought it was especially valuable to have young people supported by the services show us the facilities themselves, they gave us first-hand accounts of their experiences which is invaluable for us to hear.”

After the visit, the Swedish group gifted their British counterparts some traditional Swedish treats and the two groups committed to working together and sharing more information in the future to improve mental health services for young people in both countries.


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