CWTCH at Aneurin Bevan University Health Board won the Psychiatric Team of the Year Award at the 2020 RCPsych Awards, which are held annually to recognise excellence within psychiatry. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the awards were announced at a virtual ceremony for the first time.
The award highlighted the Connecting With Telehealth to Children in Hospital (CWTCH) project – which treats children and adolescents through the use of telepsychiatry.
The ground-breaking initiative has been a lifeline for many patients during the pandemic. Around 79% of users described the project as “fantastic” or “really good” and 80% said they were “very satisfied” with the service.
Professor Alka Ahuja, consultant CAMHS psychiatrist and project lead, said: “The CWTCH team are delighted to receive the award from the Royal College of Psychiatrists. The introduction of telepsychiatry has the potential to provide an efficient service that saves time, reduces cost and decreases stress for patients and staff.
“The mental health and wellbeing of our young people is of paramount importance and CWTCH enabled us to provide support and care to young people in a safe and timely manner.
“The success of CWTCH led to it being used as an exemplar by the Welsh Government when the National Video Consulting Service was rolled out across Wales in response to Covid-19.
“The users and clinicians have both benefitted from the National Video Consulting service which has protected the people in Wales while enabling safe delivery of care during COVID.”
The awards mark the highest levels of excellence and achievement within the field of psychiatry, and are given to the Psychiatrist of the Year, Patient Contributor of the Year and Medical Student of the Year, among others.
Judith Paget, Chief Executive of Aneurin Bevan University Health Board added, “We are thrilled that Professor Ahuja and her Team have won this prestigious award. The CWTCH Project embodies the pivotal role that a Psychiatric Team plays in improving and innovating child and adolescent mental health services. The team are worthy recipients and should be extremely proud of the work and outcomes of this pioneering Project”
Dr Adrian James, President of the Royal College of Psychiatrists, said: “I would like to express a huge congratulations to all the winners of the RCPsych Awards. This year has been extremely challenging for all of us working in mental health and so it is fantastic to be able to recognise and celebrate successes. Hearing about the amazing contributions to psychiatry made by hard-working teams and individuals across the country is both inspiring and humbling.”
The Royal College of Psychiatrists is the professional medical body responsible for supporting psychiatrists throughout their careers from training through to retirement, and in setting and raising standards of psychiatry in the United Kingdom.
The College works to secure the best outcomes for people with mental illness, learning difficulties and developmental disorders by promoting excellent mental health services, training outstanding psychiatrists, promoting quality and research, setting standards and being the voice of psychiatry.
See more information about the 2020 RCPsych Awards.