The PAVES™ team was finalists at the NHS Lothian Celebrating Success Awards at the Kimpton Charlotte Square Hotel on Thursday 7 September 2023.
The team was shortlisted for the ‘Best Example of Quality, Innovation and Productivity’ award.
The team attended the ceremony with representatives from their clinical team as well as PAVES key supporters and stakeholders (representatives from Edinburgh Children’s Hospital Charity, Epilepsy Scotland, and Scottish Paediatric Epilepsy Network)
What is it?
PAVES is a type of mental health screening that allows medical professionals in epilepsy clinics to know more about a child or young person’s mental health when they attend epilepsy clinic appointments.
This is useful because the literature shows that young people with epilepsy are at increased risk of mental health difficulties.
PAVES can also help to identify what support or information a child or young person needs so that it can be offered at epilepsy clinic appointments.
PAVES helps medical professionals by directing them to recommended interventions and resources.
The online screening tool uses the ‘Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire’ along with qualitative questions (open-ended questions with space to add detail in their own words).
How does PAVES™ work?
Before attending their epilepsy clinic appointment, parents are asked to complete an online questionnaire with their child.
When they submit their answers, the software gives a full score (shown in a traffic light style) to their epilepsy doctor or nurse. The results are discussed at the clinic appointment and will also be uploaded to the patient’s record.
Each child’s lead epilepsy doctor or nurse can access a ‘pyramid’ of stepped interventions, which vary by the level of mental health need and any concerns identified in the clinic. The PAVES interventions include:
- signposting to a variety of CAMHS community resources (including epilepsy-specific and more general resources),
- self-help materials
- referral into psychology-led groups
If there are any significant mental health concerns or risks, these are discussed with our PAVES psychologist after clinic.
PAVES was developed by Dr Kirsten Verity, Paediatric Neuropsychology Lead, in 2016 and stands for ‘Psychology Adding Value: Electronic Screening’.
The programme was developed using funding from Edinburgh Children’s Hospital Charity and Realistic Medicine. It is now funded on an ongoing basis as part of NHS Lothian’s Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service.
Due to the success of PAVES, NHS England has been interested in rolling out a similar system in their health trusts. Discussion and training around this are currently underway.
In the Lothian region, several other children’s medical teams are interested in developing a PAVES for their young people and a pilot is currently running for children and young people with diabetes.