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Agenda item

Mental Health discussion - Donna Sweet, Head of CAMHS / TEWV


At the January Panel meeting, members raised concerns regarding a lack of support for young people with mental health issues and members requested that their concerns be shared with appropriate officers.  The Chair welcomed Donna Sweet, Manager of Tees Esk and Wear Valley NHS Foundation Trust’s Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) to the meeting to address these concerns.  CAMHS offers therapeutic services for children, young people and their families with emotional and mental health problems. 


The Manager of CAMHS explained the single point of access for all referrals within County Durham, with an initial appointment being offered within four weeks of referral.  Tier two services are early help services and tier three services are more complex, specialist areas.  An important aspect of the work of CAMHS is the work undertaken with parents and the service provides training for parents in order that they may

co-facilitate support sessions.  Where a young person is found to require tier three services, they are offered a second appointment within nine weeks of their initial appointment with interventions being aligned to the individual needs of the young person. 


The Manager of CAMHS referred to reports of issues with the transition from children’s mental health services to adult mental health services. CQUIN (Commissioning for Quality and Innovation NHS) is a framework which supports improvements in services and patterns of care and one of the targets within this framework is that 90% of young people must have a transition plan in place, with CAMHS working with an adult mental health worker, by the age of 17 years 6 months.


In response to a question from the Chair, the Manager of CAMHS explained that the Crisis Team is available 24 hours a day, 7 days per week.  Interventions are tailored to suit the child’s needs and CAMHS staff work alongside care coordinators.



Democratic Services
Durham County Council
County Hall
County Durham
03000 269 714