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Agenda item

Mental Health Support at Aycliffe Secure Services Centre - presentation by Selwyn Morgans, Aycliffe Secure Services Centre Manager


The Panel received a report and presentation from Selwyn Morgans, Aycliffe Secure Services Centre Manager (for copy of report and presentation see file of minutes) which provided details of the range of mental health support available to young people residing at Aycliffe Secure Services Centre. The presentation included an explanation of the Secure Stairs framework including its context, principles and implementation.


In response to a question from Cllr Darkes as to the age range of the young people cared for at the Centre, the Secure Services Centre Manager responded that the children may be as young as 10 years, however, the majority are in the 12 to 18 age range.  Placement of a child in secure accommodation under 13 years must be approved in advance by the Secretary of State for Education.


Cllr Darkes then asked what measures are in place to ensure continuing care on leaving secure accommodation.  The Secure Services Manager replied that careful planning takes place weeks in advance which includes the consideration of any care plans in place, with the aim being to place the needs of the child first.  Cllr Grant referred to some negative reports where agencies have failed to work effectively together and the Secure Service Manager responded that there are examples of good practice however issues can be raised, and challenged as necessary, through the Secure Accommodation Network, the DfE and the Ministry of Justice.


Cllr Jewell referred to the number of specialist health professionals employed at the Centre and asked how they work together to support the young people.  The Secure Services Manager replied that the young people often display challenging behaviour on a daily basis which can be very demanding on staff.  He added that training and support for staff is essential.  Cllr Bainbridge commended the staff on their good rapport with the young people which she and Cllr Charlton had witnessed on their recent visit to the Centre.




That the recommendations in the report be approved.


Supporting documents:


Democratic Services
Durham County Council
County Hall
County Durham
03000 269 714