Improvement needed in mental health services for children & adolescents across Europe

A study of child and adolescent mental health care has found that provision needs to be improved across the whole of the EU.

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Research led by Professor Swaran Singh of Warwick Medical School at the University of Warwick found substantial improvements were needed across the board from planning to monitoring, and delivery. The study Architecture and functioning of child and adolescent mental health services: a 28-country survey in Europe has been published today recently in The Lancet Psychiatry. Professor Singh’s fellow lead authors are Giulia Signorini MSc and Giovanni de Girolamo MD of the Psychiatric Epidemiology and Evaluation Unit, Saint John of God Clinical Research Center, Brescia.

Professor Singh said: ‘In all 28 countries we found that resource allocation wasn’t evenly spread to effectively deal with need.

‘Our survey provides important information for the evaluation and planning of child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS) in Europe.

‘It highlights areas of concern: poor service planning and the paucity of standardised outcome assessments for service provision or performance, scarce or variable involvement of service users and their families, and the scarcity of interdisciplinary CAMHS and adult mental health services.’

The team of academics examined characteristics of national child and adolescent mental services across the EU, including legal aspects of adolescent care. Using an online survey completed by child psychiatrists and national child psychiatry associations in each country they obtained data on issues such as availability of services; inpatient beds; clinicians and organisations; and delivery of specific services and treatments.

The study highlighted that the number of public services varies considerably across the EU, from just two each in Malta and Luxembourg to 939 in the UK. The number of public CAMHS relative to the target population ranged from 12.9 per 100 000 young people in Finland to 0.5 per 100 000 young people in Bulgaria. On average young people constitute a fifth of the general population of Europe.

In several countries, specific subgroups of children and adolescents had poor access to specialised mental health services dedicated to them. For example, of 27 countries, only ten (37%) provided access to refugees, seven (26%) to orphans or victims of natural or man-made disasters, six (22%) to seriously emotionally disturbed children, four (15%) to minority groups, three (11%) to runaway or homeless children, and two (7%) to indigenous people.

Nine (33%) of 27 countries had no special services designed to meet the specific needs of these subgroups, and only seven (26%) of 27 countries indicated having highly specialised services for fostered children, children who have offended and been charged with crimes, disabled children, children with autism, or children who misuse substances.

Professor Singh added: ‘Clearer national policies are needed for service delivery and structure and for standardised tools to assess the delivery, take up, and effectiveness of treatment. Young people’s needs should be central to service provision, which requires improved understanding of their treatment experiences and satisfaction with services. Professional training should be revised to bridge the gap between professional and service-related cultures.’

The study is part of the five year MILESTONE project which aims to improve transitions for young people from CAMHS to adult mental health services across Europe.


Missed the last Pedal for Parkinson’s event? Two more around the bend

Calling all qualified sports massage FHT members. Parkinson’s UK is looking for volunteer massage therapists to support their series of cycling events across the country this summer – can you help?

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There will be approximately 250 cyclists taking part to raise money for Parkinson’s UK. But it takes more than pedalling to keep the wheels turning!

What’s involved?

  • Providing post-race leg massage to cyclists to aid their recovery from the ride. Ideally approximately 20 minutes per cyclist.
  • Congratulating cyclists on their achievement and speaking to them about the ride, including any injuries they may have sustained.

What skills do you need?

  • Level 3 Sports Massage

Where and when is it?

  • Dates: 2 July and 6 August, 2017
  • Venues:
    • 2 July – Ripley Castle, Harrogate, North Yorkshire, HG3 3AY
    • 6 August – Torbrex Farm Road, Stirling, FK8 2PA
  • Schedule: The event starts at 9am, with 3 distances; 19, 40 and 57 miles. Shifts will last for 5 hours – commencing at 10.30am and ending at 3.30-4pm.

They are committed to ensuring that no volunteer should find themselves out of pocket because of expenses incurred when carrying out activities on their behalf. As a volunteer, you can claim out of pocket expenses in line with Parkinson’s UK’s Volunteer Expenses Policy. They will also provide a sandwich lunch.

For more information and to take part please contact : Julia Selby, Events Project Manager – Cycling, Parkinson’s UK. T: 020 7963 9312 E:


Complementary medicine in Switzerland now a mandatory health insurance service

The Swiss Federal Government announces that specific medical services using complementary medicine are to be covered by mandatory health insurance (basic insurance).

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The Swiss Umbrella Association for Complementary Medicine and the Union of Associations of Swiss Physicians for Complementary Medicine welcome this decision. It implements one of the key demands of the constitutional referendum held on 17 May 2009. With this decision, the Swiss Federal Council is acknowledging that complementary medicine in Switzerland meets statutory regulations when it comes to effectiveness, guaranteeing high quality and safety.

At the 17 May 2009 constitutional referendum, the Swiss people voted in favour of complementary medicine being included in public healthcare by a two-thirds majority. A key requirement of the new constitutional article 118a on complementary medicine is that mandatory health insurance (basic insurance) also has to cover specific services using complementary medicine.

It is now decided that the following disciplines of complementary medicine will be fully covered by mandatory health insurance (basic insurance) as of 1 August 2017: anthroposophical medicine, classical homoeopathy, traditional Chinese medicine and herbal medicine, provided that these are practised by conventional medical practitioners who have an additional qualification in one of the four disciplines as recognised by the Swiss Medical Association (FMH).

The Swiss Federal Health Insurance Act (HIA, 1996) together with constitutional article 118a provide everyone with access to complementary medical services (according to the solidarity principle). Despite these regulations, the implementation was followed by several years of controversy about how to cover the costs of complementary medical services. Scientific programmes commissioned by the government were abused for political ends, meaning that, for a while, such services were no longer covered.

With today’s decision, the Swiss Federal Government is finally acknowledging that complementary medicine meets the regulations of the HIA when it comes to effectiveness, guaranteeing high quality and safety. By law, only those services that are effective, appropriate and cost-effective (art. 32 of the requirements of the Federal Act on Health Insurance) can be covered.

The Swiss government’s decision is important for any person or family that cannot afford private supplementary insurance and for people with indications for which the only available options in conventional medicine carry a higher potential risk.

The Swiss Umbrella Association for Complementary Medicine and the Union of Associations of Swiss Physicians for Complementary Medicine are pleased with the Federal Council’s policy decision to strengthen support for complementary medicine in basic medical care.



Access over 70 hours of CPD education

The FHT is proud to partner with Therapy Expo this year, returning to Birmingham NEC on 22-23 November 2017.

Therapy Expo logoThis year’s world-class conference programme boasts over 70 hours of CPD education, including four dedicated education streams covering MSK, neuro rehabilitation, sports injuries and biomechanics, and business.

This is your opportunity to experience a clinical programme delivered by a wealth of expert speakers including Paul Coker, Mike Antoniades and Paul Horbrough, and to enhance your career through workshops and specialist sessions.

Your conference ticket will also give you access to the RockTape Movement Summit and the Sports Therapy Association Conference.

Plus, your lunch is included!

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2017 highlights:

  • Learn from a programme of over 70 hours cross-speciality training
  • Learn from world class speakers and experts in their field
  • Network with over 2,700 colleagues and peers
  • Four dedicated education streams covering MSK, neuro rehabilitation, sports injuries and biomechanics, and business.
  • Free CPR training in the LUBAS CPR Zone
  • Research and source new products and services from over 130 industry suppliers
  • See live demonstrations of the latest technologies the industry has to offer
  • Discover the secret to retaining clients and attracting new ones

Members will also be invited to vote on a special resolution to adopt the revised Articles of Association.

Book your early bird ticket for £99 + VAT (price increases to £129 + VAT on 30 June) using the dedicated FHT registration link

For more information, visit

We look forward to seeing you – visit us at stand TD47!


Exposure to sunlight linked to reduction in eczema inflammation

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Exposure to sunlight alleviates symptoms of eczema by helping to release a compound in the skin that moisturises inflammation, according to a recent study the Medical Research Council (MRC).

Researchers found that exposing a small patch of skin on healthy volunteers to UV light triggered the release of nitric oxide into the blood stream.

These findings will pave the way for future research into new therapies that could mimic the effects of sunlight while minimising the damaging side effects of the sun’s rays.

UV light therapy is currently used for people with severe eczema and while this can improve the condition, it can have damaging side effects, including ageing, burning and increasing the risk of skin cancer.

Further lab studies showed that this chemical activated regulatory T cells that were directly linked with disease improvement.

Read more about the study



College of Medicine calls for student essays on sustainable healthcare

The College of Medicine is currently accepting entries from students of all health and social care professions for the esteemed Michael Pittilo Essay Prize 2017.

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First launched in 2010, the Michael Pittilo Essay Prize recognises and celebrates the integration of conventional and complementary approaches to healthcare.

Entries are open to UK students studying any healthcare discipline at degree level or above, including CAM therapies that are statutory regulated or on an Accredited Register, approved by the Professional Standards Authority.

The College of Medicine’s summer conference will this year explore ways in which sustainability is redefining our health system and to correspond with this theme the essay question for the Michael Pittilo Prize is:

‘How can patients, communities, healthcare professionals and governing bodies work together to ensure sustainability of the healthcare system?’

Essays (1,500 words) need to be submitted by 9 July 2017 to

The FHT is delighted to have been a member of the judging panel for eight consecutive years and looks forward to publishing the winning essay in International Therapist.

Read the winning essay from 2016