[PDF] Guidance for commissioners of child and adolescent mental health services

Improving Access to Psychological Therapies
Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT)
Publication date:
01 October 2013


This guide describes what ‘good looks like’ for a modern child and adolescent mental health service (CAMHS). It should be of value to Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) and NHS England. It has been written by a group of CAMHS experts and primarily covers commissioning of specialist CAMHS by CCGs, but also partly refers to other elements of the CAMHS system. Much of the guide is evidence-based and includes reference to the expert documentation completed by the National CAMHS Support Service. Ideas that are felt to be best practice by expert consensus are included. The guide aims to familiarise readers with the concept of CAMHS and to understand:

  • what a good quality, modern, service looks like
  • why a good CAMHS delivers the mental health strategy and the Quality Innovation Productivity and Prevention (QIPP) initiative – not only in itself but also by enabling changes in other parts of the system  
  • the benefits of CAMHS to children, young people, their families and carers
  • why CAMHS are important for commissioners