Mental health service transitions for young people

Practice example - Raised transition age: Leeds


To provide consistent support for young people and prevent them ‘falling through the gap’ between services.

Leeds CAMHS, including inpatient and community CAMHS, extended the age of service users to their 18th birthday from their 17th birthday as from 1 April 2010 (inpatient), and 1 October 2010, the rest of CAMHS. This has led to a renewed focus on transition processes.

Leeds CAMHS have commissioned two dedicated transition worker posts to work with young people aged 16+ years and their families where it is likely the young person will need mental health support from adults services after 18 years. Adults services include AMHS, social care, education and the voluntary sector. First steps were to map adults services, and to issue a questionnaire to young people and their parents/ carers.

The workers are working primarily with young people aged 17.5 to 18.5 years over the service transition period, with robust transition planning taking about six months for most young people. They also work jointly across services, for example attending team meetings of Community Mental Health teams in AMHS.

A quarterly report is generated for the transition workers listing all young people in CAMHS who are 17.5 years old and above. The transition workers contact the young people’s case co-ordinators and ask them to complete a transition plan proforma in collaboration with the young person. The transition workers are available to attend these transition planning meetings and will then maintain contact with all parties, including the receiving adult services, to oversee and ensure an optimal, planned smooth transition process.

Three draft guides have been written, one for young people, one for parent/carers and one for professionals, which explain the role of the Leeds transition team. These are currently being considered by the group of young people.

Leeds has a group of CAMHS and AMHS senior managers who meet every six weeks to review the transitions protocol and to change their practice in response to the views of young people and staff. 

A formal Information Sharing Agreement between CAMHS and AMHS has been finalised, allowing easier monitoring of young people moving from CAMHS to AMHS, which are in different trusts. 


Two dedicated Band 7 CAMHS senior practitioners plus oncosts