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Saturday 17 August 2013

Price Tag?

To all UK parents/caregivers of those who transitioned between CAMHS & Adult Eating Disorder Services. Veronica would welcome as much feedback as possible to her email address:

"I have been asked to send out an email to the group requesting any stories from those of you who have had a difficult time moving from CAMHS (Child & Adolescent Mental Health Services) to Adult Services. This still continues to be a real problem for some people and there is now a move to try and address the issue.

If you are one of those who has been effected by this please can you email me with what the problems were. Equally if there were any positive stories that would be good too.

All emails will be passed on anonymously so please do email me with how you were affected.

Many thanks.

Best wishes


Veronica Kamerling
London Carers' Group
5 Dorchester Way
RG29 1BX
01256 704117
07733 260 475

Thank you Veronica for all your hard work in this.  

To illustrate the difficulties of transitioning between services, different areas have different criteria.  For a start, the age range is from 14 - 18.  Yes, some 14 year olds are deemed old enough to make decisions about their mental health that do not involve their parents! 

And it's all about money.

For a typical situation of how a CAMHS team cannot wait to pass off the expense of an eating disordered 17 year old.  This is a child that is losing 2kg a WEEK at the moment.  The CAMHS team claim there are no adolescent beds in the area, although we KNOW they can purchase a bed out of area for this desperately ill child.  CAMHS want to pass her over to adult services, where there are also no beds in the area and a long wait list.  The child turns 18 in December, whereupon she will be responsible for her mental health and any decisions about treatment.  I would bet my last penny that she will not choose the correct healthcare pathway for her illness.  She doesn't even know she is sick.

In the meantime, this patient and her parents are left without support or back-up at home, despairing watching as the patient slips further and further into the illness, whilst surviving on less than 1/5th of the recommended daily calorie intake for a young woman of her age.

Will she die?  Who knows?  Who cares?  Well, I do.  A lot.  


  1. I recently did 4 weeks of day treatment at my usual EDU. In my last week, a 16 year old started. I still have a letter in my head that I need to write to the head of the DTS about the horrible absence of a coherent safeguarding policy for CAMHS patients.
    Plus, her presence in the programme was inappropriate not only for her but for those of us who are older too since our experiences are so widely different that discussion in groups turned out to be either formed of non sequiturs or creating upset and distress on both sides. I think she found some of our life experiences very frightening. But obviously it was quite painful for me when she said I was an example of what she didn't want to become (to use as motivation to get better).

    My own first admission to that unit (when it was in a different building) was aged 19. I still felt very young compared to some other patients and it's hard to see how picking specific ages can ever be a sensible way to allocate appropriate care for a patient. I know of a (private) hospital for adolescents and young adults with an age range of 15-23. While not perfect, it's surely better than the NHS situation at the moment.