A new mental health service for 16-17 year olds has been launched in Sheffield.
Previously, young people had to transfer from CAMHS (Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service) to adult mental health services when they turned 16 – a move fraught with difficulty.
£300,000 per year has been allocated to extend existing CAMHS teams, with the funding split between the Learning Disabilities Team and the generic Community CAMHS Team.
This is significantly less than the £1m CAMHS had requested in their initial proposal to Sheffield Clinical Commissioning Group. Concerns have been raised that the level of funding might not be enough to provide the type of service required by this age group.
A detailed evaluation will take place during the initial six-month pilot phase to assess whether the clinical model is right and sufficient resources are available.
The new service will be delivered by both children’s and adult mental health services working in partnership. Overall responsibility for providing care for this age group will fall to the children’s mental health services in Sheffield Children’s Hospital, and all GP and other primary care referrals will go there in the first instance.
Adult mental health services will continue to provide services for 16-17 year olds with serious eating disorders and psychosis, and will respond to 16 and 17 year olds attending Accident and Emergency. Regular meetings will be held between the two partners during the initial implementation phase to review practices and resolve any problems.