Introducing The CAMHS Outpatient Team

What is the CAMHS Outpatient Team?

This is specialist team who work with certain groups of young people (aged between 0-18 years) who are struggling with their mental health.  To be treated by the Outpatients (OP) Team you will have certain circumstances that means you can access their specialist service.  For example, you may be struggling with your mental health so much that it is impacting on lots of areas of your life. Other teens who access this service may be experiencing difficulties at home or have communication difficulties as well. The team will decide with service is right for you based on your circumstances so you don’t have to worry – the team will direct your referral to the correct place.


Who can refer to the Outpatients Team?

There are many professionals that might refer you to the OP Team.  These include your doctor, paediatrician, school nurse, social worker or someone from the Mental Health Team in School.   You are not able to self-refer to this service but talk to a trusted adult if you are struggling with your mental health.


Who are the Outpatient Team?

The OP Team is a group of healthcare professionals who specialise in mental health issues, The Team includes Consultant Psychiatrists, Psychologists, Nurses, Mental Health Practitioners, Assistant Psychologists, Psychotherapists, Health Care Support Workers, Care Navigators and admin staff.  They work with you and any adults who support you to create a joint plan to help you achieve better mental health.


Where are the Outpatients Team Based?

If it’s possible for you to be there, then you will be seen at Westcotes House, the Valentine Centre which is near Leicester City Centre or Loughborough Children’s Hospital in Loughborough.  We can also sometimes see you at Hinckley or Melton Mowbray.

If you check in at Westcotes House, you will be able to see photo of team members as they are displayed on an apple tree painting on the wall of reception.


What do they do?

The OP identifies an Assessing Practitioner (this will be a Nurse, Psychologist, Doctor or Mental Health Practitioner) to meet with you and your family/carers, to assess your current mental health and decide what the best way forward is for you.  An assessment simply means that Mental Health Professional will talk to you and listen to you to gather information about your mental health. They will also complete some questionnaires either before or during the initial appointment.  Your family or adults that support will be invited to join in this conversation. By the end of the assessment, which usually takes around 1 hour to 1 and a half hours, there will be a pathway plan.  This will determine the appropriate treatment or service for you.


What will happen once I’ve been assessed by the Outpatients 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 circumstances.  It may suggest further treatment by the team or referring onto a different specialist in mental health. You might be signposted to a specialist agency who operate in the area you live within or the adults that support you might be offered a place in some groups to learn new ways to help you with your mental health.  Whatever the outcome of your assessment, you will have an action plan to help you.  Your assessing practitioner might also speak to other people, like school or your GP or social worker to make sure they know the best way to support you.  The letter you receive following your assessment will be sent to you from the Access Team.


Our Duty System

Following your access assessment, and whilst waiting for the agreed intervention as outlined on your care plan, your lead professional will be the Duty team.  This team is made up of several experienced mental health clinicians: one of which will check in with you whilst you wait.  They will speak to you about how you are feeling and ensure you still feel able to cope.  They will be able to offer guidance as to how to manage and can share strategies to help improve your mental health.  They will check in with you at least every 6 months but possibly more regularly.

It is really important that you do meet with the Duty team whilst you wait.  Reviews are usually done face to face so you will have a more personal feel to the appointments. This also allows the clinician to get to know you better and provide more tailored advice.  It also lets us know that you still want to be supported by CAMHS and remain on the waiting list.  If you don’t meet or speak with the Duty team they may take you off the waiting list and potentially close you to the service.


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