A lightning report from the Children’s Commissioner about access to CAMHS has highlighted some concerning issues.
- Long waiting times
- Large numbers(28%) of children and young people referred to CAMHS being turned away without being receiving any services due to restricted thresholds (reasons include: age, specific conditions or severity level)
- Children and young people falling out of the system due to DNA policies
- Variations in practice across the country
- Anywhere from 4 – 200 days of waiting time
- 18-80% variation in likelihood of receiving treatment
There are no recommendations from the report, but young people involved in the report asked for the following (p.23):
- Shorter waiting times.
- For someone to be available to talk to between the referral to CAMHS and the first appointment, ‘they could be like a bridge and help you at the first CAMHS meeting’.
- Not relying on letters to get you to the first appointment, especially when your family is not reliable. Contacts and reminders should be sent by phone and text.
- Reducing the stigma around being in care or having a mental health need.
- Providing a drop-in service for young people where they could chat about things that worried them and get to know the people running the service.