Shining Star - Clinical
Showing dedication and commitment to support a family whose child is managing a number of rare conditions is the reason why Caroline is a shining star.
Caroline’s nomination came from a member of the public, who wanted recognition for the help she offered her daughter
Caroline is a child psychiatrist working with Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) in Horsham.
She supported the family when their daughter was referred for help with depression and social anxiety at age 15. The young person was also experiencing narcolepsy (a long term condition that causes people to fall asleep at inappropriate times) and cataplexy (when strong emotion or laughter causes a person to suffer sudden physical collapse whilst remaining conscious).
Narcolepsy is not well understood outside of specialist circles, and Caroline went over and above, improving her knowledge of narcolepsy and working closely with the young person’s specialist sleep consultant in London, making herself readily available to offer advice on the mental health aspects of the young person’s health.
She has been proactive in teaching her medical trainees about narcolepsy and cataplexy as it is not uncommon for people with these conditions to also experience mental health challenges. She is also planning to deliver a teaching session to other consultants within Sussex Partnership so that other children with the same condition, who may be referred to mental health services, will benefit from what she has learned professionally during this time.
In nominating Caroline, the family said: ‘She has been responsive and accommodating to us as a family, offering appointments at convenient times, always arranging prescriptions promptly and being willing to prescribe outside of usual “first choice” medications because others were a better fit for narcolepsy. She has also helped by writing to school to support better arrangements for my daughter’s education.’