Staff Choice Awards 2018/19
Inspirational Leader Award

Samantha Gillings-Taylor

Has been shortlisted for this award

Job title
Clinical Lead 
Learning Disability CAMHS 

The nomination said...

Historically there had not been an age appropriate dedicated mental health service for children and young people with learning disabilities (CYPLD). Locally, CAMHS did not have the expertise for this client group, so in crisis situations adult psychiatry would help.

Initially, Samantha Gillings-Taylor and a CAMHS psychiatrist, with an interest in this client group, supervised by the Adult Learning Disability Team, delivered a service in the community to try and prevent distressing experiences for this very vulnerable group. With initial successes it became obvious to Sam that a dedicated team approach was needed and would include nursing, psychology and admin.

Today, Sam continues the ongoing development of the LDCAMHS team for CYPLD, with mental health and/or challenging behaviour to help remove the barriers for this group to enable them to have a better quality of life, access education, the community and reduce risk to their wellbeing and home life. Sam has proved that her vision works by the significant reduction of young people being sent to specialised clinics.

During the period leading up to 2017, Sam was extremely dedicated to developing her dream team for LDCAMHS to meet local needs of CYPLD. LDCAMHS now offer Psychiatry, Psychology, Behaviour Therapy, Senior Specialist Nurses, Mental Health Practitioners, Clinical Support Workers and admin support – all of whom receive her unwavering support, training, expertise and professional friendship.

Sam has introduced and facilitated dedicated Clinical Pathway and Development Days to look at national and local policy and staff training, to shape what the future of LDCAMHS offer. She has developed joint working ventures with other CYP services, including Child and Family, Lapwing Education, ADHD, and step up to the Intensive Support Team (for over 14s). Sam encourages MDT working and staff development through this process where the staff have the opportunity to learn through case discussions.

With her incredible tenacity, dedication and resilience, she continues to influence, promote and protect the needs of children and young people, and their families to help them experience a good quality of life.

Sam is an inspirational leader and manager, dedicated and reliable. She is engaging and continually role models the good service LDCAMHS provides, inspires performance, and continued encouragement for the team to learn and grow. Sam has extensive knowledge, experience and understanding from leading learning disability services needed to develop a specialist LD service for children and young people with learning disabilities.

My year with LDCAMHS has been a very enjoyable one. I feel supported and cared for by Sam and she encourages and supports our development, increasing our confidence and knowledge by sharing her experiences, asking for our feedback making us feel included. The thorough way of working enables us to provide the best service we can to our service users and their families in a kind and considerate way. Sam is a good listener and has invested a vast amount of time developing this specialist service and her passion shines through.