News from The Croft

There have been some important developments at The Croft over the past year:

Changes to referrals
Referrals to The Croft are now handled by the East of England specialist commissioning team and we can now take children from anywhere in England. At the same time, there has been a general increase in the number of referrals to Tier 4 children’s units like The Croft and other children’s unit. We will continue to provide as timely and effective a service as we can, but there is now an even greater need for good communications between Tier 3 referrers and The Croft to enable us to maintain our standards.

Health promotion for children
We want to share the health promotion work that we have been doing with the children and families that use our service as part of a continuing quality improvement programme. First, we’ve been making sure that we carry out a thorough assessment and provide treatment for any physical health problems that the young people in our care may have. Second, we’ve taken advantage of this period of intense contact with the health service to stress the importance of good health habits in the early years as these will have a positive effect on health throughout our patients’ lives. 

In common with other in-patient services, we carry out a health screen with all new patients to look for any physical health problems as well as side-effects of any prescribed medications. When we audited this we found that we were 100% compliant with the standard required.

Weekly health group
We have set up a weekly health promotion group, looking at everything from diet to dental hygiene. This safe use of the internet to reflect the personal, social and health education (PHSE) requirements of the National Curriculum. Children are encouraged to have daily physical exercise in break times and after programme time in the evening. We support this by planning recreation groups on a weekly basis that involve activities such as swimming, ice skating and trips to country parks and National Trust properties. Taking into account our patients with eating disorders, we have introduced a gentle yoga group which has also involved parents. We hope to develop this further as a means of promoting health and relaxation.

Tailored plans
As well as group activities, we put together individually tailored plans, which include diet recommendations to meet the needs of children and families.

Children at The Croft are extremely unlikely to have engaged in smoking, drinking, or drug taking due to their young age, but we are always mindful that this may have occurred. We address these issues with the individual rather than in a group setting.

Children’s weights are monitored weekly and dietary advice given on an individual basis in conjunction with the advanced CAMH dietitian. All the food served at The Croft is home-cooked by our housekeeper who is undergoing additional training on specialist diets to cater for differing needs, including allergies and food intolerances. Even small changes such as a move to ‘high juice’ squash has reduced sugar intake. This means fewer ‘empty calories’ and better dental hygiene for our patients.

We review the content of our health promotion activities regularly and modify them to reflect the needs of current patients in respect of their age, gender and interests.

Croft Open Day

On 28 September we welcomed all Croft patients and former patients and their families to our annual Open Day.

As usual there were lots of stalls, live music, a prize draw, a barbecue and other refreshments as well as plenty of fun and games for all the family. We look forward to seeing you next year!


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The page was last updated on 10 September 2018 by andrea.bateman.

Cambridgeshire and Peterborough NHS Foundation Trust
Elizabeth House, Fulbourn Hospital
Cambridge, CB21 5EF

T 01223 219400 (open 8:30am to 5pm)
F 01480 398501

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