Agenda item

Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) Update

To receive a further update on Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) - (presentation to follow).


The Committee received their annual update on Children and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) (Item 6 in the Minute Book).  This further update was at the request of the Committee at their 11 November 2020 meeting.


Representatives from Hampshire, Southampton and Isle of Wight Clinical Commissioning Group, and Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust provided Members with a joint presentation which set out a CAMHS development update.  The first part of the presentation highlighted key issues which included the impact of Covid-19 on mental health and emotional wellbeing, and that early intervention was critical.  Joint working in this area with partners was also highlighted.  Key areas of service development were explained which included the launch of the new Kooth digital service, community counselling and the development and rolling out of psychiatric liaison services.  The securement of funding for the roll out of 5 new mental health in schools teams across Hampshire was also highlighted.  Officers highlighted the significant investment into the service this year and the plans for service development, as well as working in partnership to focus on early intervention.


The second part of the presentation highlighted the work of Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust who provide Hampshire CAMHS.  Members were led through the slides and it was heard that there were currently an average open caseload of 7,517.  The impact of Covid was noted with the CAMHS website receiving 43,000 hits, and there was specific support available on the website in relation to return to school and developing confidence.  It was also heard that in November 2020, there was a re-modelling of the forecast based on the latest available tools and research as a result of Covid.


Slide 11 of the presentation slides detailed the investment decisions, and the overall investment from 2021/22 onwards of £6.5 million per annum was highlighted.  Areas such as the Clinical Model, Early Help Service, Digital Team, Crisis Care and the Eating Disorder Service were also explained to Members.  In relation to the Eating Disorder Service, it was heard that there had been an 150% increase in demand, and a significant number of children and young people were now presenting at a very low weight.  The impact of Covid in relation to this was explained, and it was noted that school closures had impacted the ability for eating disorders to be noticed earlier. 


In conclusion, it was highlighted that one of the main focuses of the service was on recruitment, and it was heard that the service were looking to recruit 103 additional Whole Time Equivalent (WTE) posts.  The challenges going forward were explained which included the length of waiting times.  Members also noted that the increase in demand for the service was an issue nationally.


In response to questions, Members heard:

·         That officers were confident that with new investment and the new clinical model, waiting times for CAMHS treatment will decrease, and will be in a better position next year.

·         That it was difficult for the service to predict the long term impact of Covid on mental health and emotional wellbeing, and there may need to be flex in the clinical model going forward as a result, and possible expansion of the service going forward.

·         That in relation to eating disorders, there has been an increase in late presentation to the service as a result of Covid and an increase in those in acute hospitals for treatment of this.  At this acute stage, it is essential that physical intervention is undertaken before any therapeutic work.

·         That the average length of CAMHS treatment is 12 sessions, with more acute needs, such as eating disorders and trauma being seen amongst children and young people.  This can lengthen treatment time as several different interventions will be required.

·         That there was continued close working with partnership agencies such as Hampshire County Council’s children’s services department and the police to ensure early help is available where there is a safeguarding risk.

·         That schools have been promoting ‘Kooth’, the new digital service to help with early intervention.

·         That a continued challenge was around recruitment to the service and retention, and it was also important to support the welfare of staff.  Details about the construction of the CAMHS Academy were also explained.

·         That a booklet from Hampshire CAMHS has been circulated to all Hampshire Year 7 children to help in providing support with the transition to secondary school.

·         That a more comprehensive pathway would help to ensure that not all children and young people would require specialist mental health services.


It was proposed by Cllr Jackie Porter and seconded by the Chairman Cllr Kirsty North, that a further written update be received when the 103 Whole Time Equivalent (WTE) posts have been filled, if before a year’s time.


This was supported by the Committee.



That the Committee noted the update and requested a further written update when the 103 WTE additional posts have been filled, if before a year’s time.


Supporting documents: