A target to set up out-of-hours child and adolescent mental health services nationally has led to resources being diverted from other parts of the service, according to a study.
Researchers found reluctance by staff to take on an out-of-hours role, exacerbated by a lack of data on the demand for the services and staff shortages
But the Department of Health-commissioned study by the Institute of Education’s Thomas Coram Research Unit, London, uncovered a range of problems.
It found that areas with smaller Camhs services had to set up from scratch arrangements for 24-hour cover, and commissioners and providers felt the target was unlikely to be cost-effective.
Some services had formed partnerships to meet gaps in services. The study found that partnerships between neighbouring Camhs had often foundered due to different service delivery arrangements.