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What is the challenge your project is going to address and how does it connect to your chosen theme?

An increase in hypnotic prescribing within the Child and adolescent Mental Health Service prompted an audit and discussion about care pathways and optimal medication use. Sleep disorders may be associated with a concurrent physical, mental and/ or a neurodevelopmental  condition with presentation influencing the referal pathway to specialist CAMHS or paediatric services.  A need was highlighted  to undertake a collaborative piece of work across all local healthcare providers to develop a service model supporting sleep hygiene, behavioral interventions and, where prescribed, ensure the optimal use of medication. This would support delivery of the NHS Long term Plan, ‘STAMP’ initiative and inform future commissioning decisions which may include the pilot of a sleep clinic which has been successfully implemented in other areas of the country.

Nationally there are calls for children’s sleep to be added to the public health agenda and be a compulsory part of personal, social, health and economic (PSHE) education. Therefore a local model also needs to consider links with public health and education providers.  Finally- sleep is very subjective- working with children, young people and their families to listen to their stories, understand issues and address conerns will be another important strand of this work.

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