PERFORMANCE: The trust’s specialist team looking after child and adolescent mental health in North Lincolnshire have achieved a significant reduction in waiting times after introducing a programme of changes.

In October 2009 waiting times for an appointment with the children and adolescent mental health service could be in excess of two years and the number of children waiting for a service was at or around 300, the trust said.

The waiting list is now being reduced to less than 50, with waiting times at 10 weeks or less.

The trust said this was due to the introduction of an “urgent referral system” to ensure children can get a same day appointment for urgent assessment; the introduction of a screening service for autistic spectrum disorder; new staff, including a part-time principal clinical psychologist and a primary mental health worker.

The introduction of a brief intervention service has also been significant in the waiting list reduction. Children and young people are seen within 12 weeks of referral and are offered brief, solution-focused support.  

Assistant director for CAMHS Karen Etheridge said: “The reduction in waiting times is a significant achievement and a huge improvement on previous waiting times. This is a direct result of an improvement programme we’ve put into place for the CAMHS service over the past 18 months.”