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FICAPS National Conference 2016

Wednesday 27th January 2016 at BPS Offices, Tabernacle Street, London

FICAPS, the Forum for Inpatient Child and Adolescent Psychology Services, was formed in recognition of the need for Applied Psychologists working in CAMHS inpatient units to have an established professional network. We all know that despite the inherent teamwork required by our jobs, it often feels like we are professionally very isolated in what is a very specialised job.

FICAPS is one of the BPS Division of Clinical Psychology's Children and Young People Faculty Networks and provides a forum that:

  • Enables the peer supervision of members
  • Shares ideas and best practise within the network
  • Identifies and delivers to members' training needs
  • Discusses relevant ethical and professional issues faced by members

Over the years, FICAPS have run seven very successful national conferences as well as coordinating frequent local meetings in the North West and South of England. We have also recently contributed to a paper on inpatient CAMHS in a special edition of Child and Family Clinical Psychology Review.

We are now pleased to announce our 8th National conference to be held on the 27th January 2016 in London. The conference is aimed at all Clinical Psychologists (including Assistants and Trainees) who work in, or with inpatient CAMHS services. The conference is also an ideal time to network and meet others working in the same exciting area.

The theme of this year’s conference is how we can work with the challenging issue of adversity that we encounter in our day to day practice on inpatient CAMHS units. The abstracts for the Members submitted presentations can be found in the documents section at the bottom of this page.

Understanding ADVERSITY in Inpatient CAMHS

Adversity, at its simplest, is the experience of an unpleasant event. In the context of our work supporting children and adolescents, adverse life experiences are commonplace amongst the history of young people who come into contact with inpatient services. Adversity can start even before birth; mothers who experience psychosocial stress can present an environment in which the infant become sensitive to threat, predisposing them to a biased view of the world before even verbal thought develops (Davis 2011). In childhood and through to adolescence, young people face a number of challenges, which might comprise adverse life experiences including early pregnancy, trauma, abuse, neglect, poverty and discrimination. Historically, these have been seen as risk factors that transmit problems; irreversible changes. More optimistically, it has been acknowledged that there is an interaction between risk and protective factors (such as secure attachment); resilience can challenge adversity (Fonagy, 1994). This conference is an opportunity for us to consider the adversity that the young people we work with face, and ways we can support them to navigate this successfully. Alongside this, we must acknowledge that the inpatient environment itself can be hostile and confusing for service users (Robbins, 2005). Moreover, staff members’ experience of their working life can include adversity, with high levels of burnout (Jenkins & Elliot, 2004). Exploring the experience of working in this context, we can use novel theoretical understanding, evidence-based practices and input from experts by experience to consider ways to confront and challenge this adversity with compassion; supporting resilience in ourselves and the young people we support.


Submissions were accepted until 23:59 Sunday 6th December 2015. Thank you to everyone who has submitted.

Bookings for this event have now closed


Wednesday 27th January 2016

We are working on finalising the event programme, this will be updated.

09:45Welcome - Dr Paul Abeles, Galaxy House
10:00"NHS England's Mental Health Improvement Programmes for Children and Young People" - Dr Jacqueline Cornish, NHS England
10:35“Latent vulnerability and mental health: Childhood maltreatment through the lens of neuroscience and epigenetics” - Professor Eamon McCrory, UCL
11:20Refreshment Break
11:35“The role of attachment in child and adolescent development: recent findings and conundrums” - Professor Pasco Fearon, Neuroscience Unit and UCL
12:35Feedback from groups and plenary discussion with Professor Eamon McCrory and Professor Pasco Fearon
13:50Parallel A: “How do Adolescents Experience Relationships During Admission to a Psychiatric Inpatient Unit?” - Rachael Ellis, Children's Psychological Services - Preston & Lancaster (with service users present)
13:50Parallel B: “Understanding and reducing compassion fatigue in CAMHS inpatient staff” – Dr Lucy Maddox, North Bristol NHS Trust, and South London and Maudsley NHS Trust, and UCL
14:35Parallel A: “Using Outcome Measures within a Quality Improvement Methodology Framework to Increase Young People and Families’ Experience of Being Involved in and Informed About Their Care” - Rachel Trimmer, Coborn Centre (with service users)
14:35Parallel B: “CBT for adolescent Psychosis and Psychotic Like Experiences within inpatient settings” – Dr Sophie Browning, Snowsfield Adoloscent Unit
15:20Refreshment Break
15:35"Learning from adversity: changing services for children and young people with eating disorders" - Dr Rachel Bryant-Waugh, Great Ormond Street
16:20Event Close

Speakers and Facilitators


Dr Jacqueline Cornish OBE FRCP(Lond) Hon FRCPCH DSc(Hon)

Keynote Speaker
Dr Jacqueline Cornish was appointed to the post of National Clinical Director Children, Young People and Transition to Adulthood in NHS England in April 2013. She is passionate about continuously striving for improved healthcare outcomes in this young group, giving them and their families the best experience and delivering care safely to the highest possible standard.

She is a practicing clinician, having only recently stepped down as Director of Paediatric Stem Cell Transplant (SCT) at the Bristol Royal Hospital for Children. Dr Cornish specialises in the transplant of children with a high risk haematological malignancy, and the Unit has been pioneering in the development of the use of alternative donors, detection of molecular minimal residual leukaemia, and white cell chimerism techniques. The Bristol SCT Unit is a world leader, and published clinical and research outcomes have set a gold standard in the transplant of Childhood Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia which has not been surpassed.

Dr Cornish has over 20 years’ experience of Medical Management in the NHS, having been Head of Division of Women’s and Children’s Services at University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust for 10 years before taking up the National post. She believes that the strong synergy between clinicians, dedicated managers and commissioners leads to the best result for patients and is a hallmark of high performing organisations and services.

Full bio can be downloaded below

Pasco Fearon

Keynote Speaker
Pasco Fearon is a Professor of Developmental Psychopathology at University College London and joint Director of UCL’s of Clinical Psychology Doctoral Training Programme. I trained as a developmental psychologist prior to clinical training, and have been involved in research on the role of attachment and early parental care in child development for the last 20 years. I am particularly interested in the interface between the social environment and children’s biology as they mutually interact to influence later development. I am also extensively involved in studies testing the effectiveness of parenting interventions to improve children’s outcomes.

Eamon McCrory

Keynote Speaker
Eamon McCrory is Professor of Developmental Neuroscience and Psychopathology at UCL and Director of the Developmental Risk and Resilience Unit. His research uses brain imaging and psychological approaches to investigate the impact of childhood maltreatment on emotional development and mental health. He is also a Consultant Clinical Psychologist and Director of Postgraduate Studies at the Anna Freud Centre where he leads the UCL-Yale MRes in Developmental Neuroscience and Psychopathology.

Dr Rachel Bryant-Waugh

Keynote Speaker
Rachel has specialized in feeding and eating disorders in children for the past 30 years. She is based at Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children in London where she is Joint Head of the Feeding and Eating Disorders Service and Lead Clinical Psychologist for the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service. She is also Honorary Senior Lecturer at the Institute of Child Health, University College London.

She has particular interests in diagnosis and classification, the development of time-limited evidence based interventions for the full range of feeding and eating disorders, intergenerational patterns of eating difficulties and mothers with eating disorders and their children.

She has won national and international awards for her work in the field of feeding and eating disorders in recognition of her outstanding contribution to this field. She has published widely and trains and lectures in many countries.


BPS Offices, Tabernacle Street, London

The British Psychological Society, 30 Tabernacle Street, London, EC2A 4UE