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What Are Children and Adolescent Mental Health Service? A Clinical Psychology Podcast Episode.


What Are Children and Adolescent Mental Health Service? A Clinical Psychology Podcast Episode.

Clinical psychologists work with a lot of clinical populations from retired people to working aged adults all the way down to children and adolescents. The last clinical population presents a lot of fascinating challenges for clinical psychologists because of their development, the school environment and so many facets of life that are unique to children and young people. That’s why it’s critical to know and understand how to work with this population, and most importantly what work do clinical psychologists actually do with children and young people? That’s one of the questions we’ll start answering in today’s podcast episode. If you enjoy learning about mental health, child psychology and clinical psychology, then you’ll love today’s episode.


Working With Children and Young People: A Guide To Clinical Psychology, Mental Health and Psychotherapy. Available from all major eBook retailers and you can order the paperback and hardback copies from Amazon, your local bookstore and local library, if you request it. Also, you can buy the eBook directly from me at https://www.payhip.com/connorwhiteley 


What Are CAMHS? (Extract From Working With Children and Young People. COPYRIGHT 2023 CONNOR WHITELEY)

We already know from the last chapter that Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) are a UK service and they are the service that children and young people will go to for psychological treatment.


Building upon this further, CAMHS are mainly run by the UK’s National Health Service (NHS) and local government services with the NHS services in England being commissioned by Clinical Commission Groups (CCGs) and if you wanted some more information about the CCGs then you can go to this website page but I do explain a lot more in a moment:



Therefore, these CCGs are in charge of deciding what services are needed and then they commission them, with some of the services they’re in charge of commissioning including mental health services, elective hospital services, urgent and emergency care as well as community care. This is basically an internal market inside the NHS and there is always, always tension between these commissioning groups and the healthcare providers because these CCGs can need to use third-part healthcare providers (like private hospitals) for waiting list initiatives.


Personally, and from what I understand from listening to other clinical psychologists, this situation isn’t ideal but it’s needed, it’s the world we live in and it flat out will not change. Since it would be nice if the NHS could be self-reliant and use all its money on itself and the clients, but because of staffing shortages (including their rubbish pay), the inherent problems with the NHS’s structure and everything else that is chaotic about the public sector. It's a shame the NHS has to shell out large sums of money to these third-party providers to make sure their clients get seen.


Anyway, CCGS are membership bodies with local doctors being their members. Also these groups are led by an elected governing body made up of medical doctors, other clinicians, like nurses and secondary care consultants as well as lay members.


In addition, these CCGs are responsible for about two-thirds of NHS England’s total budget that was £79.9 billion in 2019/20  (as supported by NHS England and NHS Improvement funding and resource 2019/20: supporting ‘The NHS Long Term Plan’).


Whilst these CCGs are technically independent of the government, they are accountable to the UK’s Secretary of State for Health and Social Care through NHS England. Which is important when we consider they’re responsible for the health of populations ranging from under 100,000 to over a million people but the average population is about a quarter of a million people.


Going Back To CAMHS

We needed to take that little detour so you know how CAMHS are set up in the first place, but anybody who has professional contact with children can be considered to be a part of CAMHS services (this is potentially in addition to the list of workers I give you in the next chapter).

However, more often than not these days, CAMH services are being provided by other agencies that aren’t the NHS, like local councils.


I think whether this is a good or bad thing really depends on the local council and the individual provider. Since I can easily imagine how local authorities with big budgets and access to great professionals will be great at this, but others that have small budgets and don’t have access to the best professionals, they will certainly struggle to provide the best care possible.


Furthermore, when it comes to these extra providers that are outside the NHS, these have to be qualified providers of course, and there’s a contractual system within the NHS internal market made up of the English NHS.


This internal market was introduced by the Labour government in 2009/10 when it was called "Any Willing Provider". This policy has never been repealed and the policy has continued and was accelerated under the newly formed coalition Government that rose to power in 2011. Then that government changed its name to "Any Qualified Provider."


The implementation of the policy was achieved through the NHS operating framework as well as by having a strong central team based in the Department of Health that oversaw and supported its implementation at a local level. Yet it was bad that it didn’t require any statutory instrument to achieve its aims and even worse, this policy was often wrongly considered to be part of the reforms associated with the Health and Social Care Act 2012.


An Example Of A Provider And Wrap Up

It truly seems the Virgin Group is involved in everything from planes to space to technology, but it’s also involved in healthcare settings. And I want to say upfront that I have no problem with massive companies and in this case, Virgin is very good news for a lot of people.

As a result of Virgin Care has a total of 400 services in total across England from way down in the South West in Wiltshire right up to Teeside in the North East and Virgin Care has a lot of children and young people mental health services as well.


To start wrapping up the chapter, the entire point of Any Qualified Provider was to improve the number of choices that patients have in England, because there used to only be the NHS and I suppose some people wanted other choices.


Also, CAMHS provisions are varied and it’s rare that two are ever exactly the same, and this can be seen in independent for-profit counselling services and Virgin Care when compared to each other let alone the NHS.


CAMHS are services for children and young people from birth up to the age of 18 or up to 25 for young people and children as part of a wider network of support for Looked After Children (for example children leaving the foster system) or Special Education Needs. With these services being based anywhere that children are. Such as, medical practices, child development centres (a lot more on that later in the book), clinics, hospitals and children’s centres. And the aim of these services are to provide assessment and treatment for young people and children who have behavioural, emotional and developmental difficulties.


But now we know what CAMHS are, but what evidence is there they’re actually needed?

 

I really hope you enjoyed today’s clinical psychology podcast episode.


If you want to learn more, please check out:


Working With Children and Young People: A Guide To Clinical Psychology, Mental Health and Psychotherapy. Available from all major eBook retailers and you can order the paperback and hardback copies from Amazon, your local bookstore and local library, if you request it. Also, you can buy the eBook directly from me at https://www.payhip.com/connorwhiteley 


Have a great day.


Clinical Psychology Reference

Whiteley, C. (2023) Working With Children and Young People: A Guide To Clinical Psychology, Mental Health and Psychotherapy. CGD Publishing, England.


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