Are CAMHS Services still available now?
Our CAMHS service has continued to work with children and young people since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic. We have needed to change the way we run our service to comply with the Government rules. We are beginning to support many of the young people we see through either virtual consultations or via telephone. Where there has been a clinical need to see someone in person we have done this, but have continued to observe the social distancing guidelines.
We have undertaken a number of risk assessments at all of our clinics and we have started to introduce more face to face consultations where it is not possible to provide a therapeutic intervention remotely. However, the NHS still needs to adhere to the social distancing measures and nationally there is a requirement for all consultations to happen remotely unless there is a clinical need for this to take place face to face. This means that we are not able to have as many people in the clinics as usual and as a result we need to prioritise which young people we see in person. This can cause unavoidable delays and increased waiting times. We ask that anyone contacting our services to be considerate to our staff who are needing to make difficult decisions at this time and are working tirelessly to see as many children and young people as possible.
To make sure we adhere to the government guidance you are likely to see some changes when you next come to see us. Here are some key messages:
- Please DO NOT attend a Children’s Centre site unless you have been specifically advised to do so. You will have been advised of specific arrangements by your local CAMHS Team or within your appointment letter. If you are unsure please your local Team for support.
- Please DO NOT attend your appointment if you are unwell and/or have symptoms of coronavirus. Further information on coronavirus symptoms and what to do is available at: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/symptoms/
- Due to a significant increase in the number of telephone calls we are receiving it may take us longer to get back to you. Please make it clear in your message if your query is urgent & please be understanding and patient with our staff - they are doing everything they can.
- If we feel we need to see your child in person this will be discussed with you and the measures needed to keep you and our clinicians safe will be explained.
- If you are unsure what your care plan is please ring the service.
- Physical health observations (height, weight, blood pressure, pulse and temperature) will continue to only be done if absolutely essential. Please discuss with the clinician if this is required.
- Please only go to A&E if you are in need of urgent medical attention.
- Please be assured that your clinician has declared themselves well enough to be at work and will be observing the guidelines of social distancing (maintaining approximately 2m distance) and will be completing regular hand washing.
If we have agreed you need to be seen in person some examples of the things that might be different include:
- Following new arrangements when attending the clinic, for example telephoning the clinic on arrival before entering the building. The local arrangements will be confirmed with you prior to your appointment.
- Using hand sanitiser on entering the building.
- Observing social distancing measures. There will be more signs in the clinic explaining the process, including the potential of one-way systems.
- Sitting further apart in the clinic rooms.
- Some staff may be wearing masks.