Introducing The CAMHS Learning Disability (LD) Service

What is the CAMHS Learning Disability (LD) Team?

This is CAMHS specialist team who work with young people (aged between 0-18 years) who have moderate to profound intellectual developmental disability. The LD team work with children and young people who present with mental health problems and / or behaviours of concern or who require specialist assessment. It is important to understand that these behaviours of concern are a way of the children and young people communicating their needs.  The LD team work with children and their families/carers to support them to manage and change behaviours of concern while building on the child or young person’s skills.


Who can refer to the Learning Disability Team?

There are many professionals who might refer you to the Learning Disability Team.  These include your doctor, paediatrician and social worker.  If you have been under the care of the CAMHS LDT previously, you can self-refer also.


Who are the Learning Disability Team?

The LD Team is a multi-disciplinary team.  This means that they are a group of healthcare professionals who all specialise in different elements of mental health. The Team includes a Specialist LD Psychiatrist, LD Specialist Registered Nurses, Advanced Nurse Practitioner, Non-Medical Prescribers, Psychologist, Positive Behaviour Support Practitioners, Occupational Therapists and Sleep Practitioners, The team also includes Nurses who have undertaken additional training in specialist areas of care that include ADHD, Autism, Theraplay and Cognitive Behaviour Therapy.

Positive Behaviour Support is all about reducing behaviours of concern to improve the quality of life for young people and their families and how they build the skills they need to achieve this.

You might not work with everyone in the LD team.  When you are assessed, the people who run your assessment will work out who in the team can help you to achieve better mental health and quality of life.


Where is the Learning Disability Team Based?

The team are based at a specialist centre called Rothesay on the London Road in Leicester.  Appointments for assessments, reviews and many therapeutic interventions are undertaken here.  Rothesay has a garden and activity rooms as well as consultation rooms.  The waiting room has pictures of all the staff with their names and roles on.  It might also be the case that instead of waiting for your appointment with other people, you may be shown straight into the room you are going to be seen in to reduce stress.  When you are invited to Rothesay, your family will be sent a booklet that shows pictures of the building and rooms so you know what to expect.  They might also send you their ‘social story (arriving at Rothesay) to help you and your family talk about what will happen.

Because the LD team cover all of Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland, they may see you in other places such as a local hospital or health centre if necessary once they have got to know you.


What do they do at an Initial Assessment?

An assessment simply means that clinician will talk to you and your family to gather information about your needs. They will also complete some questionnaires either before or during the appointment. The assessment usually takes around 1 hour and a second appointment will be arranged to allow everyone to talk about and think through what was discussed during the assessment. At the second appointment, everyone will share their thoughts and agree a plan with the clinician. Whilst the adults are completing this assessment, the young people attending can spend time with a health care professional either in the activity rooms with the adults or enjoying the garden.  When the assessment is complete, there will be a plan detailing the appropriate treatment or service for you.


What will happen once I’ve been assessed by the LD Team?

What happens next will depend on the outcome of the assessment.  The Team will jointly create and agree an action plan with you to fit with your needs. Your family might be offered a behaviour workshop. In the workshop, adults are supported in making a PBS plan to help meet their child’s needs and look at how best to support in skill building and reducing behaviours of concern.  If you have other needs, such as sensory issues then you may see an Occupational Therapist to help find ways to manage this.  Similarly, there are other plans such as the sleep, ADHD, autism and psychology pathways. Whatever the outcome of your assessment, you will have an action plan to help you and your family.


What is the CAMHS Learning Disability Outreach Team?

Another option that is available to some families (depending on the needs of the child and family) is the support of the LD Outreach Team.  This team offer intensive home intervention working with families to learn and use different behaviour strategies.  These can be around building skills, using structure and routine or building and implementing behaviour plans.  As this is an intensive programme, it is designed to usually last between 2 and 12 weeks but as every child is different, the duration of support will differ depending on what the family needs.  By supporting the whole family, the aim of the team is to improve quality of life in the home and allow families to work even more closely with the LD Team to rapidly support children who are struggling to remain at home safely.


If you need urgent help for your mental health, you can call the Central Access Point (CAP) on 0808 800 3302 who have an 24 hours urgent mental health support line. You can also

  • Speak to an adult friend or someone you can trust as soon as you can
  • If you are already seen by CAMHS and it is in office hours (9-5), call your CAMHS worker
  • Speak to your school nurse or social worker
  • Call your GP
  • Call 111