December 2017 saw the Government publish its Green Paper on 'Transforming Children and Young People's Mental Health'. Part of that paper acknowledged that some people require ongoing support into early adulthood after they leave the children and young person's mental health service (CAMHS).
The transition from CAMHS to adult mental health services (AMHS) can leave patients vulnerable to deterioration in their mental health and is an issue the Department of Health intends to keep under review this year.
Transition from CAMHS to AMHS
The way mental health services are commissioned and delivered for young adults varies across England. For example, some young people are discharged from CAMHS aged 16, 18 or 25 depending on where they live. Upon discharge, the patient may be referred to AMHS but due to differing acceptance criteria, it may be that the patient is not accepted for AMHS and is discharged back to the care of their GP.
There is a risk that the lack of consistency between CAMHS and AMHS could impact on the delivery of safe and effective care.
What issues impact on a cohesive approach in the transition process?
Several factors were identified in the Green Paper as follows -
How can the transition process be improved?
The Green Paper has identified several key areas in which service providers should improve as follows -
The Healthcare Safety Investigation Branch is currently exploring possible safety issues within transition from CAMHS and AMHS and any significant developments should feed into the Government's wider review into transforming children and young people's mental health.
Bevan Brittan LLP has a dedicated Mental Health team who can advise you on all legal aspects of Children or Adult Mental Health Services, including the transition process.