Surrey CAMHS Independent Review 

What is the Independent Review?

Surrey CCGs, Surrey County Council and Surrey and Borders Partnership jointly commissioned an independent review during Summer 2018 of Mindsight Surrey CAMHS Services. The review was carried out by Attain in response to the increased demand for CAMHS Community Services and the Behavioural, Emotional and Neuro-developmental  Service. There is a recognition that we need to respond differently as a system to meet the needs of children and young people with emotional, wellbeing and mental health needs.

What are the key findings of the Review?

The review included analysis of data and input from around 200 people and set out a series of findings and recommendations for the future. These are summarised below:

  • There is a universal commitment to delivering high quality CAMHS services to children and young people in Surrey
  • The Mindsight Surrey model is innovative, a number of the services are high performing and clinical interventions are perceived as high quality. There are some areas of excellence – for example, Haven and Eating Disorder Service, the concept of Single Point of Access and BEN pathway
  • The vision for Mindsight Surrey is not being wholly delivered, nor is it deliverable in the current context. Challenges faced by the service include:
    • multi-agency relationships not working to provide consistent early help to children and young people (especially schools and GPs) 
    • the CAMHS service is not sufficiently robust
    • the complexity of commissioning structures for CAMHS 
    • front-line teams are under pressure with significant vacancies
  • Demand on the service has been 53% higher than predicted, however, the number of referrals is only marginally higher than the national average
  • Funding is slightly above national average when benchmarked against other CAMHS services in England – although slightly below the top 21 performing services. Arguably, services should be able to be configured to deliver demand currently experienced by the service 
  • There is a lack of historic data relating to CAMHS in Surrey. Data capture and quality is improving, but still requires significant improvement

What is happening next?

We are committed to building on existing relationships to work together as a community to improve outcomes for children and young people and to co-design the service of the future.  To do this we have identified four phases of development. The key elements against each phase are highlighted below:

1.  Improve outcomes for children and young people by improving the service

  • Increase early help and prevention
  • Ensure flexible and consistent access to services 
  • Establish clear thresholds for referral and pathways for access 
  • Ensure joint working with parents, carers and families

2.  Jointly own the plan and delivery

  • Strengthening the system in its widest sense eg with adult services and wider children’s services
  • Sharing accountability for risk and success across the system
  • Actively care for our workforce

3.  Listen to, understand, engage and communicate with all stakeholders, particularly children and young people

  • Putting the voice of children and young people at the heart of co-designing, evaluation and assuring services
  • Establish clear, consistent and accessible communications with all stakeholders  particularly for vulnerable young people

4.  Build a culture of evaluation, reflection, learning and evolution

  • Ensure the provision and analysis of good data including service user outcomes, quantifiable metrics and  record the impact of support on families

Specific actions are being developed for each of the phases along with timeframes to deliver this work. This will be overseen by the CAMHS Project Board and we will provide quarterly updates on our progress.

Download a presentation detailing the findings of the Independent Review. 


Surrey CAMHS Interim Plan 4 June - 21 September 2018

Demand for some mental health services for children and young people in Surrey has significantly increased during the past year, resulting in some children and young people experiencing lengthy waits for routine assessments and appointments for CAMHS Community Services and the Behavioural, Emotional and Neuro-developmental Service. These services are part of Mindsight Surrey CAMHS which is run by Surrey and Borders Partnership NHS Foundation Trust and commissioned by the NHS Clinical Commissioning Groups across Surrey and by Surrey County Council. 

Surrey and Borders Partnership, with commissioning organisations, is taking urgent action to ensure children and young people do not experience further delays and has jointly developed a CAMHS Interim Plan to address the lengthy waits currently being experienced by some children and young people which also seeks to improve ways of working across the system. A joint independent review of the service is also being planned to ensure the service is sustainable going forward. We need to respond differently as a system to meet the needs of children and young people with emotional, wellbeing and mental health needs.

The CAMHS interim plan includes:

  • Providing emotional well-being and mental health intervention, such as face-to-face and online counselling services, self-help sheets/apps and group family support
  • Access to drop-ins at youth clubs across the county for children, young people and families to obtain information and advice and receive a well-being assessment 
  • Commissioning an experienced provider to assess and treat those children and young people waiting for the Behavioural, Emotional and Neuro-developmental Service. The needs of the children and young people currently waiting will continued to be reviewed by Surrey and Borders Partnership and will be responded to if needs change 
  • A temporary change to the access criteria to routine referrals to the CAMHS Community Teams and the Behavioural, Emotional and Neuro-developmental Service for a period of 16-weeks from 4 June 2018.  Alternative support will be available. Information has been issued to all referrers and other involved professionals to advise them of this change 

All children and young people with an urgent or crisis care need will continue to be seen within locally agreed timescales. Face-to-face reviews are also available if parents, GPs or schools are concerned that a child or young person is becoming increasingly unwell. 

Children and young people receiving other services provided by Mindsight Surrey CAMHS are being seen within the usual timeframes. These include Eating Disorders, Children in Care, Carer Leavers, Sexual Trauma and Recovery, Parent and Infant Mental Health, and Post Order Adoption Support.

If you are worried about a child or young person already referred to CAMHS services please contact the CAMHS One Stop on 0300 222 5755.