Herefordshire CAMHS Learning Disability Service

The CAMHS learning disability service is made up of a range of professionals who specialise in supporting young people who have a diagnosis of a learning disability, and their families. This includes, clinical psychologists, CAMHS practitioners with a background in different therapies, and learning disability psychiatrists.

We aim to help young people and their families when they have become stuck in patterns of interacting that is causing the family, including the young person, distress. We understand that young people with learning disabilities may use their behaviour to communicate their needs and ultimately their distress. As such, we support families to explore the reasons for a young person’s behavioural or emotional difficulties, including: communication difficulties, autism, sleep problems, sensory issues, family or relationship difficulties and stressful life events. Families are then in a better position to think about any changes that they may want to make.  Where appropriate we aim to help young people to develop a better understanding of their own emotions and behaviour through 1:1 sessional work adapted to meet the needs of the young person.

Once we have received a referral, young people and their families are offered an initial meeting (usually at one of our bases across the county) lasting for up to 1½ hours. The appointment letter includes some forms for families to complete, which help us gather information before the first appointment. The aim by the end of this appointment is to develop collaborative goals to supporting the family.

We work with other agencies and professionals and where families have given permission, we will contact relevant professionals as appropriate.  All our meetings with families and young people are confidential unless we are concerned that somebody within the family (including the young person) or someone else is at significant risk of coming to harm.

Accessing the service

All referrals into Herefordshire CAMHS must be completed by professionals using the CAMHS referral form.

The CAMHS team in Herefordshire receive referrals from people who work closely with children and young people such as GPs, school nurses, health visitors, social workers, specialist staff within schools and paediatricians.

Referrals are screened by the team to make sure they are suitable and to identify urgent referrals. When a referral is accepted the family or young person will be invited to make a CHOICE appointment. Other professionals may also be invited to this appointment.

Confidentiality

Confidentiality is very important to CAMHS - all the information given in CAMHS appointments is confidential. Usually only the person who made the referral and the GP will know about the appointments.

The team will only share information about young people when we feel it is absolutely necessary, and the clinicians will always explain what information is being shared and why.

Sometimes it can be helpful to share information, for example with schools or other health staff.

The CAMHS clinician will discuss the information to be shared and ask children, young people and their families/carers for consent to share. Sometimes young people do not want to share their information with their parents/carers. This can be identified in the referral. The CAMHS clinician will discuss this with the young person to understand more about their circumstances and assess whether they are competent to make that decision for themselves.

If there are concerns that a child or young person may be at risk of harm, CAMHS will always share this information with the relevant agencies, though we would hope to inform the child or young person and their family/carers about the referral and the reasons for this.

If you are unsure about anything, please ask the team.

Help and resources

If you are a child or young people please visit the our information section to find out more about feelings and emotions.