Headline response to report. Identifies clear inadequacies of the CAMHS to be able to deliver a ‘fit for purpose’ service to children and young people in Sheffield because of capacity.
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The long and unacceptable waiting times are as a result of both reductions and re-prioritisation of funding; AND the resulting restructuring of CAMHS provision
No evidence of an Equality Impact Assessment to gauge the outcome of the restructure – especially on the Tier 3 generic community teams
Those families who require statutory access to CAMHS services as part of Tier 3 provision (deemed the ‘most vulnerable’) have low waiting periods – maximum of 18 weeks. Service levels have been maintained for these much smaller groups: MAPS; Learning Disability; Forensic and Vulnerable Children; YOT
Generic community Tier 3 services are not adequate to deliver provision for the remaining population of 11,000 children and young people at risk of a mental health difficulty
Only 28 fte staff in the Tier 3 community service (33 in total)
Restructuring resulted in resources being diverted from clinical work.
Likely that of 11,000 children and young people outside of these priority groups there will be a very high proportion of those with an autism spectrum condition (ASC) with complex needs
Generally accepted prevalence rates for ASC are 1:100 and in Sheffield there is a 16% increase in diagnoses in the 0 – 19 population (The Sheffield Children and Young People's Plan (CYPP) 2011-2014 )
Autism and Asperger syndrome is a serious, lifelong and disabling condition. Without the right support, it can have a profound - sometimes devastating - effect on individuals and families
People with autism or Asperger syndrome are particularly vulnerable to mental health problems such as anxiety and depression, especially in late adolescence - up to 70 per cent of the Asperger syndrome may present with symptoms of psychiatric disorder.
Early intervention in childhood and adolescence is crucial
We need access to the specialist services provided by CAHMS to meet these complex needs and to intervene before more serious mental health conditions arise