Mental health service transitions for young people

Practice example: Age-appropriate services, service continuity and parallel care: Camden and Islington

Purpose

The Camden and Islington Early Intervention Service (EIS) has strong partnership working with CAMHS. They have one 0.3 WTE CAMHS consultant psychiatrist and two full-time specialist CAMHS nurses embedded in the EIS to work with young people experiencing a first episode of psychosis who are aged 14-21. The overall age-range for the EIS is 14-34 years.

In the case of a 16 year old girl admitted to an adolescent inpatient unit where she was diagnosed with bipolar affective disorder, the community EIS CAMHS team kept a close eye on her, were aware of her discharge plans, and were able to implement these post-discharge. Once the girl was 18, the crisis team was brought in to work alongside EIS to provide intensive home treatment to improve medication compliance. She was admitted to an adult ward where again the EIS CAMHS team remained involved with her care to give a CAMHS perspective. She was discharged after a few weeks, again to the EIS CAMHS team, and now has positive outcomes in terms of mental health, college and relationships.

Young people are invited to a service users group to give feedback. Young people are relieved to meet a professional working with young people who can answer some of their questions, give reassurance, information about illness, treatment and services available in their community. Peer groups can link young people with others with similar experiences.

Parents have been given the opportunity to provide feedback to care co-ordinators during regular meetings, as well as through a formal carer’s assessment. There has been a carers’ support session.

Resources

0.3 WTE CAMHS consultant psychiatrist and two full-time specialist CAMHS nurses.