CAMHS restructure update

15 September 2017

The restructure of Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) will lead to better mental health service provision for infants, children, adolescents and their families.

Importantly for many families, CAMHS will retain its speech pathology service under the proposed changes put out for consultation today.

These improvements will be possible through the restructure of CAMHS so that services currently delivered from Enfield will instead be delivered from community sites across the network.

This will enable:

  • a centralised triage for a single point of contact for families
  • a new assertive mobile service capable of home visits for young people who are difficult to engage and at risk of slipping through the cracks
  • strengthening our dedicated eating disorder service
  • a dedicated lived experience officer, in line with best-practice.

All young people currently receiving services at Enfield will receive ongoing care during the change, and staff at the site will be offered alternative employment.

CAMHS Clinical Director Dr Prue McEvoy said the change follows extensive consultation on the CAMHS restructure with staff, consumers, carers and families.

“Since early 2015, we have been looking at reforming our services to ensure we can reach more infants, children, adolescents and their families closer to where they live,” Dr McEvoy said.

“Feedback overwhelmingly indicated we need to maintain speech pathology those services – and that’s what we’ve done.

“High quality speech pathology with be targeted to children, young people and families experiencing the most complex or acute mental health issues in South Australia.”

As part of the restructure, existing community teams will be reconfigured into larger team hubs designed to provide improved access to services for a broader range of people.

“The current structure of community teams makes it difficult people to access the expert services they need if they don’t live within the local area,” Dr McEvoy said.

“By creating larger team hubs with outreach services, we can focus on providing services to some of the most vulnerable groups of people who need it most.

“As part of the restructure, services currently delivered at the CAMHS Enfield site will be delivered from community teams in CAMHS, and we will work in partnership with education providers to deliver targeted and early therapeutic interventions across the state.

“The reach of the program at Enfield is limited to young people living in the area, with those living further afield largely unable to access our programs, so we are making changes to deliver more responsive, accessible and equitable services.”

CAMHS will work with all 34 young people enrolled in programs at Enfield to arrange ongoing care through planned partnership with education, government and non-government agencies, prior to its closure of the site on 17 November.

All staff based at the Enfield site have been offered employment at alternative locations and there is no reduction to full time equivalent (FTE) positions as a result of the proposed reforms.

The latest round of consultation on the proposed CAMHS reforms will be open until 3 October.

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