Report to:

East Sussex Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee (HOSC)


Date of meeting:


3 March 2022


Assistant Chief Executive



Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS)



To provide the Committee with an update on the CAMHS service in East Sussex and the services for Children and Young People’s Emotional Wellbeing and Mental Health.


1) The Committee is recommended to consider and comment on the report; and

2) identify if there are any areas it wishes to scrutinise further and add to the future work programme.


1          Background

1.1       The Committee has a long standing interest in mental health services for Children and Young People (CYP) and the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS). At the Committee meeting held on 10 June 2021 whilst considering a report on the impact of Covid, the Committee requested additional details of CAMHS referral rates and wait times, and details of innovations to improve the service. These were circulated by email to the Committee.

1.2     Whilst considering the work on Impatient Mental Health services, the Committee requested an update report on Community Mental Health service provision and CAMHS. The Committee received a report of Community Mental Health provision at the meeting on 2 December 2021. This report provides an overview of Children and Young People’s Emotional Wellbeing and Mental Health services which includes CAMHS specialist services.

2          Supporting information

2.1       The report takes the form of a presentation which is contained in Appendix 1 and provides an overview of mental health services for Children and Young People in East Sussex. It has been prepared by the Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust (SPFT) and the Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), in consultation with the Children’s Services Department of East Sussex County Council (ESCC).

2.2       The report covers:

·         System wide strategic framework for provision and improvement of emotional health and well being in East Sussex.

·         An overview of core commissioned services:

o   Early Intervention Support

o   Specialist CAMHS services

·         The Impact of COVID – on our children and young people and on service delivery.

·         Challenges and the response

·         Performance summary

·         Next Steps: Delivery of the Transformation Plan


2.3       The Committee has expressed a particular interest in the specialist CAMHS services, and has received representations from residents about the waiting times for referrals to this service and in particular the time it takes for assessment and diagnosis to be undertaken for Autistic Spectrum Conditions (ASC). The report provides further detailed information on CAMHS specialist services and current caseload. This includes:

·         An outline of CAMHS services (slide 19)

·         Total and accepted referrals (slide 26)

·         The number of young people waiting for an assessment (slide 27)

·         The current treatment caseload and number of discharges (slide 28)

·         The percentage of contacts that were face to face (slide 29)

·         The Sussex Family Eating Disorder Service referrals and caseload (slide 30)

·         NHSE South East Region – CAMHS Tier 4 inpatient services (slide 31)

·         National access standards for children and young people and performance against these standards (slide 38 & 39)

2.4       The report gives and overview of all the services that are provided to support the emotional wellbeing and mental health of children and young people in the County. This provides the context within which the CAMHS specialist services are provided and the range of support that is available. The report also outlines the actions that are being taken as part of the Transformation Plan to improve services.


3.         Conclusion and reasons for recommendations

3.1       The report provides an overall picture of the services, current performance, challenges and plans for improvement in the emotional wellbeing and mental health services provided for children and young people across East Sussex. The Committee is asked to consider the report and identify any further areas of scrutiny work to be included in the Committee’s future work programme.




Assistant Chief Executive

Contact Officer: Martin Jenks, Senior Scrutiny Adviser
Tel. No. 01273 481327